Customer Questions on Landscape Mulch

by Spring, Landscaping Tips, Landscaping Do's & Don'ts

By Eric Brand

ONE LANDSCAPING TOPIC that our customers ask us about all the time is landscape mulch. This may be because it’s such a popular and easy way to improve the look of your landscape. Let’s take a few minutes here to answer three questions about wood and bark mulch that we get all the time.

How do I calculate how much to order for a certain area?

Before you start calculating, you’ll want to answer some key questions that will be important in helping you determine how much mulch you’ll need. First, is this a new area of mulch application or are you topping off an area that has already been covered last season? If this is an existing mulch bed or pathway, you typically need less. Usually one or two inches deep will be enough. Otherwise, you could need as much as three or four inches.

The second question you’ll want to answer up front is how much foot traffic will the area see? A high traffic path will need more, typically two or more inches, because it will break down much faster. You should consider this factor when calculating how much mulch to use.

Now that we’ve gotten these questions out of the way, you are ready to start calculating how much mulch you need. Mulch is sold in cubic yards. One cubic yard will cover 27 square feet at one inch deep.

The calculation for how much mulch you need is:

Premium Hemlock

Bark Mulch is a quick, easy way to improve your landscape.

Square Feet x Height (in feet) = Cubic Feet

Then you take the number of cubic feet and divide it by three to get the number of cubic yards. In other words, if you need 50 square feet covered by two inches deep, the calculation would be:

.17 x 50 = 8.5 cubic feet or nearly 3 cubic yards

If you’re wondering why you need to use .17, it’s because all the units of measure must be the same. Two inches must be converted to feet.

If this is more math than you are willing to do, check out this online calculator from the National Gardening Association. It does the math for you.

What is the most popular type of bark mulch in our area?

Premium hemlock is the most popular mulch we sell. It’s a softwood bark blend accented with natural hemlock and specially processed to provide consistent color all season long. Customers seem to appreciate the way its rich red color goes with their landscape.

Of course, if you want something different, you can try one of our other mulches, including Dark Pine Mulch, Deluxe Light Mulch, or Wicked Dark Mulch.

What is Playground Mulch and why do some parents prefer it for their yard?
Parents often select Playground Mulch for ground cover under outdoor play sets and swing sets because it’s a great ground cover for environments where little bodies engage in roughhousing. It has:

  1. A larger, angular cut that helps protect against splinters.
  2. A softer texture and more give because it’s made from wood mulch instead of harder bark mulch.
  3. No dyes. Some parents prefer an all-natural wood product for their children.
  4. A deeper base of 12 or more inches to create a safer environment with more impact protection.

The benefits of wood or bark mulch

Wood or bark mulch is great around trees, shrubs, perennials, and even small fruit trees. It creates a favorable environment for earthworms and soil microorganisms. Over time, it can help reduce soil compaction and the need for irrigation by as much as 50 percent. No wonder it has become one of the most popular landscaping materials in our area. If you’re considering using wood or bark mulch and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 603-595-2802.