How Much Does Mulch Cost?
Ashburn, VA

How Much Does Mulch Cost?

Ashburn, VA

How Much Does Mulch Cost?

$15 – $65mulch cost per yard
$35 – $70mulch cost per yard (w/ delivery + install)

Mulch costs $15 to $65 per cubic yard for a bulk truckload delivery, and $35 to $110 per yard for delivery and installation. One yard of mulch covers about 108 square feet at 3” deep. For smaller projects, mulch costs $2 to $7 per bag which covers 8 sqft. each.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$15 – $65 mulch cost per yard

$35 – $70 mulch cost per yard (w/ delivery + install)

Mulch costs $15 to $65 per cubic yard for a bulk truckload delivery, and $35 to $110 per yard for delivery and installation. One yard of mulch covers about 108 square feet at 3” deep. For smaller projects, mulch costs $2 to $7 per bag which covers 8 sqft. each.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tom Grupa
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Tom Grupa

Mulch Cost

Economy mulch costs $15 to $30 per cubic yard or $2 to $6 per bag, while hardwood or colored mulch is $30 to $40 per yard or $3 to $8 per bag. Dyed mulch for a 160-square-foot flowerbed costs $75, and wood chips for a 500-square-foot landscape area cost $120 to $250 delivered.

Mulch installation costs per yard - chart
Mulch installation costs per yard - chart

Make your mulching project easier by having the mulch delivered for a flat fee of $40 to $100, and hire a landscaper to install it for an additional $20 to $45 per yard.

Here are typical projects and their cost installed:

Mulch costs installed by project - chart
Mulch costs installed by project - chart
Mulch Costs Installed
Project Square Feet Average Cost Installed
Vegetable Garden with Hardwood Mulch 100 SF $70 – $120
Play Area with Playground Mulch 250 SF $175 – $300
Flowerbed with Colored Mulch 300 SF $150 – $250
Landscaping area with Wood Chips 1,000 SF $350 – $600

The average homeowner spends $140 to $290 for mulch delivery and installation. The amount of mulch you need depends on the project. Common project involving mulch include:

  • Flowerbeds

  • Yard borders

  • Island beds around trees

  • Bordering paths

  • Adding traction to a large muddy area of the yard, around an above-ground pool, or under playground equipment

  • Vegetable garden

Average mulch project cost - chart
Average mulch project cost - chart
Average Mulch Costs
National Average Cost $175
Minimum Cost $50
Maximum Cost $500
Average Range $140 to $290

Get free estimates from mulching services near you.

Bulk Mulch Prices

Bulk mulch delivery costs $15 to $65 per cubic yard with most homeowners spending $350 to $700 for 10 yards delivered, including professional installation. Delivery alone costs $45 to $100, and installation usually adds $20 to $45 per yard to the final cost.

While many projects only require a few bags of mulch, larger projects like spreading mulch in a wooded area of the yard can cost less per yard and become an easier job when the mulch is bought in large quantities and delivered.

The more mulch you buy, the cheaper per yard you'll have to pay.

Bulk Mulch Prices
Number of Yards Price Per Yard
1 Cubic Yard $60
1.5 Cubic Yards $50
2 – 5 Cubic Yards $40
6 – 11 Cubic Yards $25
11+ Cubic Yards $15

Mulch Prices Per Yard

Mulch prices cost $15 to $65 per yard, with most spending $18 per yard for bulk delivery. Economy mulch costs $15 to $30 per yard and colored or hardwood mulch runs $30 to $40 per yard.

A yard of mulch covers 110 to 160 square feet based on a depth of 2" to 3”.

Mulch prices per yard - chart
Mulch prices per yard - chart
Mulch Prices Per Yard
Number of Yards Price Per Yard
Economy Mulch $15 – $30
Colored or Hardwood Mulch $30 – $40
High-end Mulch $40 – $60

Mulch Prices By Type

Mulch costs vary based on the types and delivery fees. Most suppliers sell mulch based on cubic yards, but buying per bag is also an option.

Mulch Prices
Type Per Foot Per Bag Per Yard
Wood Chips $0.89 $1.78 $24.00
Colored Mulch $1.30 $2.60 $35.00
Rubber Mulch $4.00 $7.00 $150.00
Cedar Mulch $3.70 $7.40 $100.00
Cypress Mulch $4.07 $8.14 $110.00
Hemlock Mulch $1.67 $3.34 $45.00
Shredded Hardwood Mulch $1.50 $3.00 $40
Double Shredded $1.60 $3.20 $43.00
Triple Shredded $0.96 $1.92 $26.00
Redwood or Gorilla Hair Mulch $2.22 $4.44 $60.00
Bark Mulch $3.44 $6.88 $93.00
Pine Bark $0.96 $1.92 $26.00
Pine Straw $1.50 $3.00 $40.00
Playground Mulch $3.26 $6.52 $88.00
Tea Tree Mulch $1.58 $3.16 $42.00

Cost to Deliver a Truck Load of Mulch

Delivering a truckload of mulch costs $15 to $65 per yard plus a $45 to $100 flat fee. Truckload deliveries start at 2 cubic yards (13.5 bags), with 10 to 30 cubic yards being the standard delivery size for a single-axle truck.

  • Some mulch suppliers offer free delivery if you live close.

  • Mulch can be delivered in bags, pallets of bags, or loose. Trucks will usually dump it onto your driveway, pavers, or gravel. Otherwise, lay down a tarp so the delivery crew knows where to unload it, and to keep it off the grass.

  • The size of the delivery, where you live, and if you scheduled delivery on a weekend will determine your final cost.

Mulch delivery costs by truck load & coverage - chart
Mulch delivery costs by truck load & coverage - chart
Truck Load of Mulch Cost
Project Size Cubic Yards Delivery Type Average Costs
250 Sqft. 2.31 Bags $75 – $150
500 Sqft. 4.63 Bags or Pallet $120 – $250
1,000 Sqft. 9.26 Pallets or loose load $150 – $350
2,000 Sqft. 18.52 Pallets or loose load $350 – $600
3,000 Sqft. 27.77 Pallets or loose load $420 – $750

Bag of Mulch Costs

A typical brown or black bag of mulch costs $2 to $6 from your local hardware store. Red mulch, cedar, or exotic purple-dyed mulch costs $3 to $10 per bag. Each bag of mulch contains 2 cubic feet, and 13.5 bags make a cubic yard.

You can also buy bags of mulch in bulk per truckload or per pallet. At local home improvement stores, 55 bags of mulch come on a pallet, which covers 440 to 660 square feet at 2-3” deep.

Bag of Mulch Costs
Type Cost Per Bag
Red Mulch $3 – $10 per bag
Black Mulch $3 – $6 per bag
Dark Brown Mulch $2 – $10 per bag
Cedar Mulch $3 – $10 per bag
Pine Mulch $2 – $5 per bag
Rubber Mulch $7 – $15 per bag
Purple Mulch $4 – $10 per bag

How Much Mulch Do I Need?

One yard of mulch is enough to cover about 108 square feet at 3” deep, while each 2 cubic foot bag covers about 8 square feet. Bulk mulch delivery starts at 2 cubic yards or about 13.5 bags. First, you’ll need to measure the area and know how many inches of depth you want to lay down.

A layer of mulch will help keep your garden beds moist and weed-free, but too much will encourage root growth into the mulch layer and kill the plants rather than the weeds. The recommended depth for most flowerbeds is 3”.

  • A fine mulch can be 1” – 2” in depth

  • A coarsely shredded mulch can be 3” – 4” in depth.

  • Enough mulch to kill grass and weeds is about 6” deep.

Mulch Cost Calculator

Put in the dimensions of your project in our mulch calculator below to find the number of cubic yards, bags required, and the estimated total cost.

Bag Mulch vs. Bulk

Bulk mulch is cheaper to buy than bags if your project requires more than 2 cubic yards or 27 bags of mulch. When buying by the bag, mulch costs $50 to $60 per yard, whereas bulk deliveries can be as cheap as $15 to $25 per yard depending on how much you purchase.

Bag Mulch vs. Bulk
Type Average Cost Per Yard
Bags $50 – $60
Bulk Load $15 – $25

Mulch delivery service dumping off a truckload of mulch
Mulch delivery service dumping off a truckload of mulch

Mulch Installation Costs

Mulch installation costs $20 to $45 per cubic yard with most homeowners spending $38 per yard, not including the cost of the mulch at $15 to $65 per yard. Mulch costs $175 to $375 for 5 yards delivered with professional installation.

  • Most landscapers charge a flat fee for mulch installation, at $55 to $115 per hour.

  • A 2-person crew can usually install 2 to 3 yards of mulch in one hour.

Mulch Installation Cost Breakdown
Item Cost Per Yard
Mulch & Delivery $15 – $65
Install Labor $20 – $45
Total Cost $35 – $110 per yard

For 600 square feet of flowerbeds, your total bought, delivered, and installed cost would be $200 to $600 depending on the type of mulch selected and depth. This price does not include weeding before laying down the mulch; the beds must be prepared in advance.

Mulch Installation Costs By Size
Project Size Average Cost
250 SF $120 – $260
400 SF $160 – $400
700 SF $220 – $700
1,000 SF $320 – $1,000
2,000 SF $640 – $2,000

Bulk mulch delivery on residential driveway with wheelbarrow
Bulk mulch delivery on residential driveway with wheelbarrow

Mulch-Blowing Cost

A mulch-blowing service costs $35 to $60 per cubic yard, compared to hand mulching, which runs $50 to $100 per yard. For a typical 250-square-foot flowerbed that needs 2.31 cubic yards of mulch, mulch spraying costs about $100. Mulch blowing is cheaper and faster, especially for larger jobs.

Mulching Sheet Prices

A mulching sheet costs $20 per 100-foot roll of plastic. Mulching sheets are generally used on farms producing acres of vegetables. Sheets come in different widths and lengths and is usually a black or metallic plastic that covers the soil to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth.

Forestry Mulching Prices

Get free estimates from mulching services near you.

Forestry mulching costs $400 to $800 per acre. Land clearing costs $150 to $250 per hour, or at a flat rate of $400 per acre. Final prices depend on the size and number of trees on the land.

Types of Mulch

Mulch prices vary based on the type of wood (or other material) they are made from and how finely shredded they are. Below we compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type of mulch.

Mulch Types & Prices
Color Cost Per Cubic Foot Cost Per Cubic Yard
Brown Mulch (Walnut) $1.11 $29.97
Red Mulch (Color Scape) $1.29 $34.95
Black Mulch (Hardwood) $1.48 $39.95
Black Mulch (Rubber) $4.81 $129.80
Brown Mulch (Rubber) $4.81 $129.80
Red Mulch (Rubber) $5.18 $139.80

Colored Mulch Prices

Colored mulch costs $2 to $10 per bag depending on the type. Dyed wood mulch helps keep the soil moist and slow the growth of weeds. Organic mulches can be dyed with vegetable dyes, and the color usually lasts a few years.

Yellow and red colored bark mulch installed in landscape
Yellow and red colored bark mulch installed in landscape
  • Red Mulch Prices – Red mulch prices range from $3 to $10 per bag or about $30 to $40 per cubic yard. The red in the mulch can come from the iron-oxide dye (completely safe vegetable-based dye) on waste wood chips or from rubber mulch.

  • Black Mulch Prices – Black mulch costs $3 – $6 per bag, or about $40 to $60 per yard. Black mulch is made up of hardwood or rubber. Wood chips are dyed with carbon, similar to charcoal.

  • Brown Mulch – Brown mulch costs from $2 – $10 per bag. Most mulch is naturally brown, since it comes from trees and bark.

Cost of Wood Chips

The cost of wood chips is $0.89 per cubic foot$1.78 per bag, or $24 per cubic yard. Wood chips are an excellent mulch for paths, trees, or shrubs but not so much for flowers and vegetables, as they tend to tie up the nitrogen needed by annuals and their shallow root system.

Red colored natural pine mulch bedding in garde
Red colored natural pine mulch bedding in garde

Bark Mulch Prices

The average cost of bark mulch is $3.44 per cubic foot$6.88 per bag, or $93 per cubic yard. Bark mulch is a popular choice for flowerbeds, with cedar bark being the top choice for its scent and appearance.

Bark dust costs $27 to $41 per cubic yard and is made of ground-up bark mulch, fir, and hemlock.

Shredded Hardwood Mulch Costs

Shredded hardwood mulch costs $1.50 per cubic foot or about $40 per cubic yard. Double or triple-shredded ground mulch has a finer cut, is more effective at weed control, and costs slightly more.

Coarsely shredded hardwood mulch is better to use around shrubs and trees, and finely shredded mulch works better around flowers.

Red dyed shredded hardwood mulch installed in garden area
Red dyed shredded hardwood mulch installed in garden area

Cedar Mulch Prices

Grade A cedar mulch costs $99 per yard, while other cedar mulching runs $3.70 per cubic foot and $7.49 per bag. Cedar brings vibrant color and scent to your garden areas, is beneficial to earthworms, and prevents bacteria, fungus, and pests.

  • Some people are sensitive to the cedar scent, as it can exacerbate allergies.

  • Cedar takes a much longer time to decompose, so you may want to add fertilizer.

Mulching with cedar bark chips in landscaping area
Mulching with cedar bark chips in landscaping area

Cypress Mulch Prices

Cypress mulch costs $109 per cubic yard$4 per cubic foot, and $8 per bag. Cypress is very absorbent, so it may not allow much water to penetrate the soil.

Pine Straw & Pine Bark Mulch Costs

Pine bark mulch cost $0.96 per cubic foot$1.92 per bag, or $26 per cubic yard. Pine bark nuggets are excellent organic mulch that lasts longer than most mulches but will wash away in heavy rain.

Pine straw costs $1.50 per cubic foot$3 per bag, or $40 per cubic yard. The labor cost to have pine straw installed is $38 per cubic yard or $1.41 per cubic foot. Pine straw is an excellent organic mulch and is simply the fallen needles from a pine tree.

Gardener placing straw mulch around freshly planted seedlings
Gardener placing straw mulch around freshly planted seedlings

Rubber Mulch Prices

Rubber mulch costs $80 to $160 per cubic yard or $7 per 40-pound bag. When buying in bulk, rubber mulch costs $300 to $800 per ton. Rubber mulch prevents insects and fungus from infecting your plants, comes in different colors, and is often used in children’s playground areas or landscaping areas.

Rubber tires recycled into rubber mulch for playground
Rubber tires recycled into rubber mulch for playground

Redwood or Gorilla Hair Mulch Prices

Redwood or gorilla hair mulch costs $2.22 per cubic foot$4.44 per bag, or $60 per cubic yard. It is fibrous, fuzzy, and rich in color, and it works well on slopes due to its light, fluffy texture. When wet, it's heavy enough to discourage weeds and stay put.

Redwood and cedarwood naturally resist rot and pests, making them a good choice for your garden.

Hemlock Mulch Prices

Hemlock mulch costs $1.67 per cubic foot$3.34 per bag, or $45 per cubic yard. Hemlock mulch is very acidic, so don’t use it around your alkaline-loving plants. It is a slow-decomposing mulch, so if you choose hemlock mulch, you may want to add some fertilizer.

Additional Types

  • Tea Tree Mulch – Tea tree mulch costs $1.58 per cubic foot, $3.16 per bag, or $42.66 per cubic yard. It releases a pleasant scent that goes well with your garden, repels pests, and releases nutrients into the soil slowly.

  • Hay Mulch – Hay mulch costs $82.50 per ton. Hay is nutrient-rich and a good mulch to use if you have extensive vegetable gardens, due to its low cost. Seeds may be in the hay, causing weeds to grow, but most gardeners agree the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

  • Plastic Mulch – Plastic mulch costs $20 for a 4 x 100-foot sheet and is often used in melon, strawberry, and cucumber gardens to keep the vines clean and rot-free. Plastic mulch doesn't allow air or water to get through, so it's used around plants to protect the root system.

  • Gravel, Crushed Stone, and Crushed Brick Mulch Gravel and crushed stones cost $10 to $20 per ton, can be used as mulch over a garden bed, and discourages weed growth. Use landscape fabric under stone to keep weeds down and to keep the rocks from sinking into the soil.

  • Lava rocksLava rocks cost $80 to $240 per ton or $50 to $180 per cubic yard. Lava rock is used as a lightweight mulch alternative that retains heat and moisture, prevents soil erosion, and improves drainage.

Where is Mulch Typically Used?

Each type of mulch has a specific purpose. Some plants need certain kinds of mulch and will do poorly if the wrong kind of mulch is laid down.

Mulch falls into two categories—organic and inorganic.

  1. Organic: Wood mulches, leaf, pine straw, grass clippings, straw or hay, newspaper. Organic mulch contributes to the soil quality, but as it breaks down, it must be replaced.

  2. Inorganic: Rubber, plastic, landscape cloth, rock. Inorganic mulch lasts longer but contributes nothing to the soil.

Avoid laying organic mulch in low, wet areas. Sometimes this can keep the plants too damp, and it encourages unwelcome pests such as slugs to feast on your plants.

  • Bark chips – Bark chips cost $3.44 per cubic foot or $93 per cubic yard. Chips are not the best mulch for your garden plants, as the small wood particles tend to tie up nitrogen. Use bark and wood chips for paths or the areas between flower/vegetable beds.

  • Compost or manure – You can use compost and manure anywhere. Compost is the result of kitchen waste left to decompose in a pile that turns into nutrient-rich fertilizer good for plants. Manure supplies nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as micronutrients—all necessary for plant growth.

  • Grass clippings – Clippings can be used as mulch if you’re looking for a quick, cheap, and nutrient-rich mulch to put in your garden. Clippings don't look good and often smell, but they add nutrients to your soil for free.

  • Shredded and whole leaves – Leaves are excellent mulch for annual and perennial beds. A tree’s leaves contain 50 to 80% of the nutrients extracted from the soil and air. However, it may contain insects, so don't use it near flowers.

  • Straw or hay – Straw and hay are excellent mulches to use in a vegetable garden as they prevent soil-borne diseases and last for a long time.

Bulk mounds of black mulch red wood chip and yellow shredded mulch
Bulk mounds of black mulch red wood chip and yellow shredded mulch

DIY Mulching Tips

Mulching not only benefits your garden, but it also adds curb appeal to your home. To gain the most from the mulch you put down, consider its visual effect.

  • After laying down mulch, add landscape edging to the garden bed to prevent the mulch from blowing away.

  • Smooth the mulch after you lay it down to get rid of hills and valleys.

  • Lay down mulch when the soil is still warm, and make sure the soil is moist.

  • Choose a mulch that looks good with your current home and garden colors; it should blend in.

  • Use a weed killer to kill any weeds before laying down mulch.

  • Sometimes wood-based mulch can deplete the soil of nitrogen. Before you lay down mulch, add some bloodmeal or a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the soil.

  • Newly laid mulch needs to be well-watered. Good mulch contains microorganisms that are beneficial to your soil and plants. If the mulch dries out, those microorganisms can die and then fungi can come in, creating a water-repellent surface.

  • Newly delivered wood or bark mulches need to be watered thoroughly before application. Mulch is stored in piles, and it tends to get very hot in the summer months. The microorganisms that live in the mulch tolerate the high heat but die as the mulch cools.

Mulch Safety Issues

Look for the Mulch and Soil Council’s certification logo, which guarantees it CCA free. Some wood mulch comes from wood treated with chromium, copper, and arsenic. The arsenic can leach into your soil and get on your hands.

Get free estimates from mulching services near you.

Some mulch can be a safety hazard for pets.

  • Mulch made from cocoa bean hulls can cause a dog’s heart to race and may also cause vomiting.

  • Mulch made from rubber sometimes contains benzene, which causes cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Tip For Mulch Delivery?

Tipping is a nice touch if the landscaper is helpful and dumps the mulch where you need it, or in multiple spots. If the mulch delivery service just drops it anywhere and leaves, think twice before tipping.

How Many Bags of Mulch Are in a Yard?

There are 13.5 bags of mulch in a cubic yard since each bag of mulch contains 2 cubic feet on average. For the 3 cubic feet bags, it takes 9 bags of mulch to make a yard.

How Much Does a Bag of Mulch Weigh?

A bag of straw mulch weighs about 20 pounds, while a bag of cedar mulch weighs 40 pounds if completely dry. If the mulch becomes wet, the weights could double.

How Many Cubic Feet Are in a Yard of Mulch?

There are 27 cubic feet in a yard of mulch. When mulch providers talk about a yard of mulch, they are talking about a cubic yard.

Should I Remove Old Mulch?

You should remove old mulch because it can contain bacteria or fungi, which can prove harmful to plant life. Applying new mulch over it can cause rotting and nutrient starvation.

How Do You Get Rid of Old Mulch?

If you suspect or know the old mulch has fungi, bacteria, or disease pathogens, throw it in the trash. Otherwise, place organic mulch such as leaves or straw in a compost pile. Don’t remove mulch too early in the spring, as a late frost may damage new shoots.

Does Wood Mulch Attract Termites?

Termites are not attracted to the wood in mulch; it’s the cool, moist environment. Although, fresh wood chips are a food source for termites, so don't lay mulch right up against your house.

Keeping a clear, mulch-free path around the perimeter of your home is the best way to keep the pests out.

Can You Mulch After Rain?

An excellent time to lay down mulch is after it rains. The layer of mulch will keep the soil moist and help it not to dry out. Laying mulch over dry soil is not a good idea—the water from rain or sprinklers doesn’t penetrate the layer of mulch to reach the soil, which is detrimental to your plants.

Can You Put Mulch Down in Fall or Winter?

Putting down mulch in the fall is better than putting it down in the winter.

  • Fall mulching creates an insulating layer that protects the plants from rapid temperature fluctuations, which can disrupt the plant roots and cause damage.

  • A fall mulch also keeps the soil warmer for earthworms that provide soil aeration, improving the quality of your soil.

Can I Use Sawdust as Mulch or a Soil Amendment?

Sawdust is considered raw wood and will deplete your flowerbeds of nitrogen as it decomposes. No raw, unaged wood products should be used in or around garden plants.

Can I Use Newspaper as Mulch?

Newspaper is a good temporary cover to use when reseeding or to protect wintering plants, but it should be removed when warm weather arrives.

Where to Buy Mulch?

You can buy many types of mulch from your local nursery, home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's, or garden centers like Walmart. Most places offer mulch in bulk or in bags. Shop around to get the best price for your project.

Where to Buy Mulch?
Stores Lowest Price Per Bag
Walmart $1.97
Menards $1.99
Lowe’s $1.99
Home Depot $2.50
Tractor Supply $3.99

For larger projects or convenience, order directly from a mulching delivery service to save on costs and have it dropped off directly at your home or construction site. Most landscapers will also install the mulch for you.

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