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How Much Soil or Mulch Do I Need For My Landscaping Project?

Gardening season is in full swing as evidenced by all the requests for soil and mulch we receive from our Harvest Power website. As part of these requests we get a common question: How much do I need? We thought it would be helpful to walk through a few real-world examples.

First, some background info on calculations and products.

  • To know the root of calculations, there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard (3’ x 3’ x 3’), the common measurement for selling soil and mulch.
  • To get a sense of volumes, a full-size pickup truck holds about 2 cubic yards. A volkswagon beetle is roughly the same volume as 15 cubic yards.

Next, let’s walk through a few real-world examples and calculate how much material is needed for a project.

NOTE: If you want to skip learning the math, then head straight over to our landscape calculator.

raised beds tallEXAMPLE #1: We need soil for two 8′ x 4′ x 18″ raised beds. ~BD in Windsor Locks, CT

Okay, BD. Let’s figure this out. So first let’s pretend these two raised beds are stretched end-to-end. They would measure 16’ long x 4’ wide and 18” tall. Now let’s go through the steps

  • Convert all dimensions into feet (18” ÷ 12” = 1.5’)
  • Multiply length x width x height (16’ x 4’ x 1.5’ = 96 cubic feet)
  • Divide (96 ÷ 27 = 3.56 cubic yards)

Therefore, you’ll need about 3.5 cubic yards of garden blend for this project. We recommend rounding up to 4 cubic yards since you can almost always use more product top-dressing your lawn, the raised beds, or mixed into potting containers.

EXAMPLE #2: “How much mulch do I need to cover a 20’ x 30’ new garden with 3” of soil amendment?” ~NM in Surrey, BC

  1. Convert all dimensions from inches into feet. (3” ÷ 12” = .25 feet)
  2. Multiply the three dimensions together (length x width x height) to find the number of cubic feet needed. (20’ long x 30’ wide x 0.25’ high = 150 cubic feet)
  3. Divide the cubic feet by the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard (27) to find the number of cubic yards (150 ÷ 27 = 5.56 cubic yards)

There you go, NM: You will need about 5-6 cubic yards for your project!

EXAMPLE #3: I’m covering my front- and back- landscape with 2” of mulch. The area is about 20’ x 10’. I want to know how much product I’ll need in bags since I don’t have a pickup truck or trailer, and I think it might be easier to pick up a bunch of product in my car and then carry them throughout the property instead of dealing with a wheelbarrow. ~KH in Virginia

Okay, KH. Here we go, with a modified step to convert to bags.

  • Convert all dimensions into feet (2” ÷ 12” = 0.16’)
  • Multiply length x width x height (20’ x 10’ x 0.16’ = 33 cubic feet)
  • FOR CUBIC YARDS, we’d divide (33 ÷ 27 = 1.23 cubic yards). BUT INSTEAD we want to find out how many bags of mulch KH needs. So if she wants 1-cubic foot bags she’ll need to divide by 1 (33 ÷ 1 = 33 1-cubic foot bags). If she wants 2-cubic-foot bags she’ll need to divide by 2 (33 ÷ 2 = 17 2-cubic-foot bags).

how much do i need? landscape calculator screenshot of case studyVoila, our landscape calculator comes to the same conclusions (see screenshot).

Feeling inspired?

Hopefully this post helps you get a feel for dimensions and how much product you’ll need for your next landscaping project. We offer many quality soil and mulch products in bulk and bagged quantities. Or simply head on over to our contact page to request a quote.

Happy landscaping!

How Much Do I Need - For Pinterest

 

 

Black Mulch with BiGro™ Adds “Tidy, Finished Look” to Landscape

bigro black mulch on landscapeWe recently received photos from David of his lovely landscape in Virginia. Taking advantage of the balmy springtime weather, David and his wife used 85 bags of Black Mulch with BiGro™ to add a “tidy, finished look” their front entrance and landscaping.

They are anticipating a hot summer, and figure the mulch will help moderate temperatures for the plants, retain moisture and of course suppress weeds! David described the bags as “a clean and convenient option” for this project.

Looks great, and thanks for sharing!

bigro black mulch IMG_2202

The rich black color provides a nice accent to the landscape.

 

Mulch Deliveries – They’re Easy!

how to order mulch 250x250Anyone who has ordered bulk mulch will tell you that they love the convenience of the material being delivered to their door or jobsite. Getting bulk mulch delivered is easy: All you have to do is make a phone call. Here are a few common questions and answers to understand the process:

What kind of mulch should I get?

That depends. We’ll help you make your decision. We put lots of videos on our website so you can see the different products. Also, each product has its own page with photos and descriptions. Finally, we can help talk you through your options if you still need support deciding… For orders in Connecticut call 860-674-8855.

How much should I order?

That’s our number 1 question. We have a minimum delivery order of 3 cubic yards. After that, it’s up to you. If you have a specific project in mind, check out our landscape calculator.

Delivery sizes vary: In New England we have small truck which are 6 wheel dump trucks that can carry 15 yards of mulch or 6 yards of topsoil or 9 yards of compost. The next size truck would be a tri-axle, which can hold 35 yards of mulch and compost or 25 yards of topsoil. The largest truck we have is a tractor trailer that can carry 70 yards of mulch!

Nope, you do not need to be home to get a mulch delivery; we can simply deposit the material in the designated spot and leave the receipt for you at your door.

When I call, what information do I need to have available?

When you call we’ll ask you a few basic questions about your order (Which product? How many cubic yards? To what address? Where should it be deposited? And finally: payment information). You will have your garden mulched in no time!

NOTE: This post is relevant for our sites in Farmington, Connecticut (serving Greater Harford, West Harford, Avon, Canton, Bristol, Newington, Simsbury, Plainville, Wethersfield, and Southington); Ellington, Connecticut (serving Ellington, Somers, Stafford Springs, Tolland, Rockville, Broad Brook, Enfield, East Windsor, South Windsor, Windsor Locks, and the Greater Hartford and Springfield areas); Fairfield, Connecticut (serving Fairfield, Trumbull, Westport, Weston, Easton, Wilton, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Darien, Stratford, Milford, and Fairfield County); Wallingford, Connecticut (serving Wallingford, Cheshire, Meriden, Middletown, North Haven, Hamden, New Haven, Woodbridge, Bethany, Branford and North Branford).

What if I only want a little bit of mulch?

That’s just fine – check out our variety of bagged mulches and find a convenient store near you.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in March 2014; it has been re-posted with permission by the author, Shelley Mulvey, with updated content, availability and links.

How Do I Choose the Right Mulch for My Landscape?

a fine mulcha course mulchMulch is a gardener’s best friend: it reduces weeds, improves moisture retention, maintains soil temperatures and enhances the beauty of landscapes. It also comes in all shapes and sizes and flavors.

How do you choose the right mulch for your landscape?

When choosing a mulch there are a lot of options and things to consider. First you have to decide what mulch will suit your needs. Using quality mulch in your garden is one of the easiest ways to transform your landscape. Choosing the best mulch for your needs can be tricky so here are some short videos of our most popular mulches, plus descriptions to help describe some options and links to bulk and bagged products available, plus locations.

CEDAR MULCH: This mulch has a pleasant cedar smell that lasts a fair amount of time after spreading. Cedar is also great for repelling insects. Cedar mulch has a very slow decay process so it won’t break down quickly. Also, cedar mulch is the most resistant to artillery fungus.

  • AVAILABLE IN BULK: Red Cedar and Canadian Cedar is available at our Harvest New England locations in Connecticut.
  • AVAILABLE IN BAGS: Cedar Mulch Blend (2-cubic-foot bags) by Garden Pro® is available in stores in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast.

BARK MULCHES / COLORED BARK MULCHES: This is a recycled mulch usually made from brush and logs. These types of mulches break down quickly and add nutrients to the soil. Natural colorants make this mulch stand out.

PINE BARK MULCH: This mulch has a naturally rich dark color with a pleasant pine scent. Pine mulch is a slow decomposer and is often over looked. This mulch has great longevity and is relatively inexpensive!

  • AVAILABLE IN BULK: Pine Blend is one of our most popular mulches, available in New England (Connecticut). Pine Fines are an exceptional soil conditioner for acid-loving plants such as azaleas, hollies and magnolias – available in the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland, DC, Virginia).
  • AVAILABLE IN BAGS: We offer a variety of Pine- based mulches including Pine Bark Mulch in two-cubic-foot bags in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

HEMLOCK MULCH: This mulch has strong reddish and orange tones which add rich color to landscapes. Hemlock mulch is very aromatic. Just like cedar and pine mulch, hemlock mulches decomposes slowly so it is long lasting. Hemlock has a natural reddish look.

  • AVAILABLE IN BULK: Hemlock Mulch is available in at our Harvest New England locations.
  • AVAILABLE IN BAGS: Hemlock Mulch Blend is available in two-cubic-foot bags in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Go straight to the source! See all mulch and soil products available in:

 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted as “Choosing a Mulch: Practical Beauty” in March 2014; it has been re-posted with permission by the author, Shelley Mulvey, with updated content, availability and links.