The Mulch Cost calculator computes the approximate cost of mulch based on the volume (V) of mulch and the unit price (uP).
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose your preferred units and enter the following:
- (uP) Unit price for one cubic foot of mulch (see Unit Pricing below).
- (V) Volume of Mulch Needed (e.g. cubic feet, yards or meters)
Total Cost: The calculator the volume and unit pricing information to provide an estimated cost of mulch in U.S. dollars. However this can be automatically converted to other currency units via the pull-down menu.
- Mulch to Cover Area: Enter an area size (e.g. 45 square feet or 0.75 acres) and depth of mulch wanted, and see estimated amount of mulch needed.
- Mulch to Cover Circular Area: Enter the diameter (D) of the circle and depth of mulch wanted, and see estimated amount of mulch needed.
- Mulch to Cover Rectangular Area: Enter the length (L) and width (W) of the area and depth of mulch wanted, and see estimated amount of mulch needed.
- Mulch to Cover Irregular Area: Enter the length of the four sides (a,b,c,d) and the diagonal (D) of an irregular area (see diagram) and the depth of mulch wanted, and see estimated amount of mulch needed.
- Mulch Cost Estimate: Enter the amount of mulch needed, choose a type of mulch and it will provide an estimate of the cost.
- Mulching With Straw (Irregular Area): Enter the length (L) and width (W) of the rectangular area and it will estimate the number of bales of straw needed to mulch the area with straw.
- Mulching With Straw (Area): Enter the area (acres, square feet) to see an estimate of the number of bales of straw needed to mulch the area with straw.
- Bulk vs Bag Price Comparison: Enter the bulk mulch and bag prices and volumes, and it tells you which is cheaper and by how much.
- Garden Area (Irregular): Many gardens have four straight sides. This calculator lets you enter the lengths of the sides (a,b,c,d) and the diagonal (D) to compute the square footage of the garden.
You should always use the locally available pricing when computing your costs. However, for your convenience a periodic survey is made on the Internet for mulch prices in the United States. The most recent observations are as follows:
- Date: 12/27/21
- Store: Lowes
- Red Mulch: 1.84 USD/ft³
- Pine Mulch: 2.44 USD/ft³
- Common Hardwood Mulch: 1.84 USD/ft³
- Cedar Mulch: 1.83 USD/ft³
- Rubber Mulch: 8.725 USD/ft³
Practical Mulching Information
My family buys mulch in two ways, bags and loose. The bags are as described above. They are typically 2.0 cubic feet plastic bags, are easy to transport in the trunk (boot for our British friends) of our car or the back of our hatchback without causing too much of a mess. However, we more often use our truck to get bulk mulch. That usually turns out to be much cheaper, but we have to get it ourselves using a trailer or truck. In this case, we typically buy a scoop or two, which fits in the back of our truck, and costs $40 -$60 per scoop. However, the cheapest mulch that we've bought has come from our local landfill. At the landfill, they take common yard debris and processes it into mulch. This is arguably lower quality mulch, but still very useful and much cheaper. We've see it for free or up to $20/cubic yard.
vCalc has a library of equations and calculator for planters and green houses at the following links: