The Bales of Straw Needed for Mulching calculators computes the number of regular square-bales of straw or hay needed to cover an area such as a field, garden or planter deep enough to act as mulch. To compute the bales of straw to mulch an irregular shaped field, plot, garden or planter, CLICK HERE.
INSTRUCTIONS: Choose units and enter the following:
- (A) Area Covered in Straw
Bales of Straw for Mulching (B): The calculator returns the number of bales of straw needed to cover the area.
Mulching is different than ground cover for planting. For mulching, one wants to suppress the growth of grass and weeds. For ground cover, one wants to protect grass seed and young seedlings to encourage grass growth and moisture retention. The differences is in the depth of the straw laid. This calculator computes straw deep enough to suppress weed growth.
- 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
Price Survey for Straw
- Straw Pricing by Bale Size: [[Date of Pricing Survey, 1/20/23], [Straw Price: Small Square Bale (2 string: 50lb), 3.56 USD], [Straw Price: Small Square Bale (3 wire: 110lb) , 7.84 USD], [Straw Price: Large Square Bale (1,360 lbs), 96.90 USD], [Straw Price: Round Bale (850 lbs), 60.56 USD]]
The most current US Straw Price Survey information data is as follows:
- Date: 1/20/23
- State: PA
- Region: New Holland
- Straw Price: $120.0 to $165.0