How 'Mulch' Will It Cost? What You'll Pay to Mulch Your Yard

by Team HomeServe
A pitchfork lifts fresh hardwood mulch from a pile and into a black wheelbarrel

Mulching Costs at a Glance

  • Mulch cost: $15-$65 per cubic yard
  • Mulch installation cost: $35-$110 per cubic yard
  • Delivery fee: $50-$100
  • Bag of mulch: $2-$7 each

Mulching your garden helps keep it looking vibrant and keeps the grass and plants healthy. The purpose of mulch is to help the ground retain moisture while also controlling weeds. Mulch can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from wood chips and pine needles to grass clippings or even rubber. Inorganic mulch usually costs less than the best organic varieties.

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So how much does it cost to mulch your yard? We’ve got your answer.

A woman uses a pitchfork to spread hardwood mulch onto a landscaping bed

What Is the Average Mulch Cost Per Cubic Yard?

Mulch costs vary depending on whether you're buying in bulk or just a few bags at a time. According to HomeGuide, a cubic yard of mulch costs between $15 and $65, with both the quality of the mulch and the volume of mulch ordered influencing the price. To access the best mulch prices, buy in bulk. The more you buy, the cheaper the per-yard cost. If you're buying in bulk and spreading mulch yourself, you'll likely find that the materials cost per yard is quite affordable.

Most professional mulch jobs are priced as the cost of mulch per yard installed, with delivery fees added on. Don't forget that there'll be an additional fee for labor if you're having someone else lay the mulch for you or do other lawn services at the same time. Expect to pay $35 to $110 per cubic yard to have mulch delivered and installed. Consider getting mulch spread as part of ongoing garden maintenance to save on callout fees for contractors.

How Much Does a Cubic Yard of Mulch Cover?

The area that a cubic yard of mulch will cover depends on the type of mulch you're using. Garden beds covered in dense mulch don't need a very thick coating, but if you're using very coarse organic mulches, you'll need to spread the mulch about 4 inches thick, which means you'll need more of it to cover the area.

To work out how much mulch you need, you'll have to run some calculations. First, figure how much area you need to cover. For a square or rectangular garden bed, simply multiply the width by the length in feet. (If you have an irregular-shaped area — or you’re not super sure about the math — check out our handy square-footage calculation guide.)

Next, multiply the area by the depth in feet you want the mulch to cover. This would typically be 3 inches (.25 feet) for fine-grained mulch and 4 inches (.33 feet) for coarse-grained mulch.

Finally, divide that figure by 27 to get the number of cubic yards of mulch you'd need to purchase. To figure your materials cost for the job, multiply the cubic yardage by the mulch cost per yard.

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Animated visual of a dump truck delivering hardwood mulch on a residential driveway

How Much Does It Cost for a Truckload of Mulch?

The cost of a truckload of mulch depends on the type of mulch and the size of the delivery. Some delivery companies offer truckload deliveries of just two cubic yards — or 13.5 bags of mulch. Others have a minimum order requirement of 10 cubic yards. You can expect to pay the cost of the mulch, plus a flat delivery fee of $50 to $100, depending on your location and the size of the order.

Is It Cheaper to Buy Mulch by the Bag or Yard?

In most cases, buying in bulk is cheaper than buying mulch by the bag, especially if you're looking for a large amount of landscaping mulch. A bag of mulch costs $2 to $7 and only covers about 8 square feet.

The main reason to buy smaller bags of mulch would be if you're looking for colored mulch to decorate small areas. Some people use dyed mulch to top large pots or cover the area around a garden feature and use standard wood mulch for the rest of their garden.