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How Much Does Mulch Cost?

Typical Range: $100 - $300

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*Typical costs for a 500 square foot garden.

Mulch Prices

Mulch installation prices typically range from $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot, depending on the type, or an average of $0.35 per square foot. The cost of mulch for an average-sized garden of 500 square feet will run you around $175, with most homeowners spending between $100 and $300. This includes a three-inch layer of mulch, as well as the labor for installation.

Average Mulch Costs

Average Cost$175
High Cost$300
Low Cost$100
For 500 square feet

How Much Is a Yard of Mulch?

A cubic yard of mulch costs $30 on average.

Cost of Mulch Per Yard
Cubic YardsCost

Bulk Mulch Prices Per Square Foot

VolumeArea CoveredPrice Per Square Foot
Bag8 square feet$0.60
Truckload2,000 square feet$0.30
Scoop50 square feet$0.40
the cost of mulch delivery and installation is $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot.

Bag of Mulch Price

A bag of mulch costs around $4 and covers eight square feet. However, the exact prices vary depending on the type of mulch you buy.

Truckload of Mulch Price

A truckload of mulch costs $550 for 20 cubic yards. This doesn’t include a delivery fee, which usually starts at $160.

Scoop of Mulch Price

A scoop of mulch cost around $15 and is approximately 0.5 cubic yards. You’ll still have to pay a delivery fee.

Compare Quotes for Mulch Delivery in Your Area

Organic Mulch Costs

Organic mulch averages $30 to $150 per cubic yard, depending on the type.

Cost of Wood Chips and Hardwood Mulches

Organic mulch is made of plant materials and averages between $30 and $110 per cubic yard. Here are the costs of wood mulch types that landscapers and gardeners most commonly use:

Type of Organic MulchCost per Cubic Yard
Red mulch$35
Black mulch$40
Shredded hardwood mulch$40
Pine bark$30

Other Organic Mulches

There are also other types of organic mulches:

  • Pine needles: $150 per cubic yard. Use this loose mulch to help plant roots absorb moisture. Don’t use it if you live in a windy area because it blows away easily.
  • Straw and hay mulch: $85 per ton. It’s good for lawns that you want to seed or for preparing a garden for new spring growth. Just keep in mind that because it decomposes quickly, you’ll have to replace it every year.
  • Wood chips: $150 per cubic yard. However, watch out for bugs, as well as for slime mold that can grow on them in moist conditions. You’ll have to hire a professional to remove them.
  • Yard waste costs nothing if it comes from your own yard. Re-use lawn clippings, leaves and compost as organic mulch in your garden beds.

Inorganic Mulch Costs

Inorganic mulch is made from materials other than plants. The type chosen factors into the cost with rubber, for example, averaging $120 per cubic yard. Some so dense that they don’t allow weed growth. You can find them at most local home improvement centers or nurseries.

Rubber Mulch Cost

Rubber mulch costs around $120 per cubic yard. Most people pay between $80 and $160 per cubic yard.

Other Inorganic Materials

  • Landscape cloth: $0.30 per square foot and prevents weed growth. It also allows air and water to penetrate the soil and reach your plants’ roots. Usually, landscapers place rocks or spread other types of mulch on top of it to improve the appearance.
  • Plastic sheets: $0.65 per square foot. Because they don’t allow water or air in, you need to cut holes for the plants so the sheets don’t compromise the root system.
  • Rocks and gravel: $0.50 per pound, depending on the type you choose. Unless you have a truck to transport them in, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay additional delivery costs. Rocks and gravel prevent weed growth while at the same time allowing water and air to reach the roots. Nevertheless, you might still have to weed your garden every now and then when stubborn weeds break through.

Mulch Installation Cost

The cost to spread mulch costs $35 per cubic yard, with most homeowners spending between $20 and $45 per cubic yard.

Mulch Blowing Cost

Mulch blowing costs $50 per cubic yard. Most homeowners spend between $35 and $60 per cubic yard. Mulch blowing is faster than hand mulching, especially when it comes to larger projects.

Compare Estimates from Yard & Garden Professionals for Mulch Installation

Mulch Delivery Cost

Mulch delivery costs are around $220 for loads of between one and 15 cubic yards. Most people pay between $160 and $270.

Additional Considerations

Mulch is good for your garden beds - plus, it also improves your home’s curb appeal. So when you add it to your yard, think about the aesthetic impact as well as the functional benefits.

Some other tips on mulching include:

  • Add between two and three inches of mulch to new beds to ensure soil moisture. However, only add one inch when applying more mulch later to prevent suffocating the roots.
  • Apply weed killers before spreading the mulch. Periodically uproot any weeds to prevent any further weed growth.
  • Re-edge the garden bed to stop the mulch from blowing away in windy conditions.
  • Smooth the mulch after application to ensure a pleasant, uniform look for your yard.
  • Choose a type of mulch that blends well with your landscape.
  • Blow away excess debris if you use inorganic mulch. This helps deter pests or diseases from attacking your plants.
  • Apply mulch in early spring or late fall, when the soil is warm but not too hot.

DIY Mulching vs. Hiring a Pro

DIY mulching is cheaper than hiring a pro, because you only have to pay for the mulch itself - and delivery, if applicable. However, when you hire a landscaper to install mulch for you, it saves you a lot of time and effort. It also ensures the proper and even application of the mulch.


How much mulch do I need?

To calculate how much mulch you need to add a layer to your yard or garden bed, begin by multiplying the area by the depth, then divide the total square feet by 324.

For example, if you’re looking to cover a 300-square-foot yard with three inches of mulch, the calculation would look like this:

300 x 3 / 324 = 2.8 cubic yards

What type of mulch is best?

The best type of mulch to use depends on how and where you’re using it:

  • Bark chips: Lay these around tree roots and shrubs or use them in garden beds where you don’t dig a lot. You can also spread them around front walkways or foundations because they don't move around much.
  • Compost or manure: You can put this kind of mulch anywhere as long as you don't anticipate many weeds. Compost and manure help contribute valuable nutrients to the soil during the growing season.
  • Grass clippings: These are best for the remote parts of your garden where you don’t want any weeds to grow. They decompose quickly and sometimes give off a foul odor, so they aren’t the most attractive option.
  • Shredded leaves: You can use these anywhere, and they're more appealing than grass clippings. However, bugs frequently gather around decaying leaves, so don't use them near flowers or shrubs that require protection from insects.
  • Straw or salt hay: Use this in your vegetable garden. It prevents soil-borne diseases from infecting your plant leaves and it prevents mud.

Is it cheaper to buy mulch in bulk or bags?

Buying mulch in bulk is typically cheaper than buying it in bags.

How much does a yard of mulch cover?

A cubic yard of mulch covers an area of 324 square feet at one inch deep, or about 108 square feet at three inches deep.

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