Mulching is a recommended practice if you want to preserve your landscape moisture and keep your grass and plants looking vibrant and healthy. It also serves as their protection during the winter season.
The national average mulching cost range is $150 to $400. Most homeowners spend around $275 for 3 cubic yards of bark mulch, including delivery and installation.
The actual cost of mulching varies depending on factors such as the type and color of mulch, the size of your garden, and whether you want the mulch delivered and installed.
Organic mulch is made of plant materials, compost leaves or grass clippings. It is a great weed barrier and can contribute a lot to the quality of your soil.
|Organic mulch type||Low||High|
|Shredded hardwood mulch||$78||$104|
Average Estimate: $100
Average cost of inorganic mulch per cubic yard
Inorganic mulch includes rocks, gravel, plastic sheeting, and rubber. It is usually artificial and can last much longer.
|Inorganic mulch type||Low||High|
|Synthetic Pine straw||$40||$60|
Average Estimate: $150
Average cost of mulch by colour
If you’re looking for a landscape that creates a better sense of appeal, you can consider coloured or dyed mulch. Mulch can be dyed to take on a new colour that it doesn’t naturally have. The most common colours are red, black and brown. Most of the common dyes are organically dyed with iron oxide, carbon or vegetable-based dyes. This makes them safe to use.
|Colour of (organic) mulch||QTY||Low||High|
|Brown mulch||Per Cubic yard||$30||$40|
|Red Mulch||Per Cubic yard||$30||$40|
|Tan Mulch||Per Cubic yard||$30||$45|
|Black mulch||Per Cubic yard||$40||$60|
|Green mulch||Per Cubic yard||$40||$60|
|Blue mulch||Per Cubic yard||$45||$65|
Average Estimate: $50
Cost of Mulch per Yard
Mulch typically becomes less expensive per yard, the more you order at one time the cheaper it becomes per unit yard. So when mulching multiple areas, you can save in the long run by purchasing all the required mulch at once. The table below shows the total price of mulch for a different number of yards as the amount of mulch increases.
|No of yards||Low||High|
|1 - 3||$40 - $60||$40 - $180|
|4 - 6||$30 - $40||$120 -$240|
|7 - 10||$20 - $30||$140 - $300|
|10 - 20||$10 -$20||$100- $400|
Labor Cost to Install Mulch
Mulch installation costs mostly depend on the material preferred for mulching. You may choose to go with organic types of mulch such as wood chips, bark, leaves, compost, or inorganic mulch such as plastic, stones, and gravel. The cost of the mulch you chose and the area to cover will determine the basic cost. Landscapers understand how to calculate the correct amount of mulch and determine the correct type for your soil and aesthetic needs.
Landscapers charge by the hour for most installations. The cost to spread mulch generally ranges from $55 to $75 per hour for a 2-person crew. For 3 cubic yards, expect the job to take around 2 hours to complete. This includes planning, application, and equipment handling. Two hours of labor costs approximately $110 to $150.
Mulch Blowing Cost
Mulch blowing is a new type of mulch installation. Rather than shoveling and raking it by hand, the landscaper uses pressurized air to direct the mulch. This has a cost of around $35 to $60 a cubic yard, so for 3 cubic yards, you can expect it to cost around $105 to $180.
Additional cost factors of mulching
Depending on the type you want, different types of mulch have unique costs. You should also consider the size of the area you want to cover, the delivery and installation, as this affects the total mulching prices.
There are two kinds of mulch: organic mulch and inorganic mulch. Organic mulch is made of plant materials, compost, leaves or grass clippings. On the other hand, inorganic mulch is rocks, gravel, plastic sheeting, and rubber. It is usually artificial and can last much longer. However, organic mulch can be a better weed barrier than the other and can contribute a lot to the quality of your soil.
The amount you will be paying for mulching will depend on the area you want to be covered. Buying bulk mulch can be done per square meter, cubic meter, or bulk bag. The bigger your area is, the more mulch you will need. The recommended depth of mulch is 3 inches.
Tips on hiring a mulching contractor
Once you decide on hiring a landscape contractor for your mulching job, follow the checklist below to help you hire the right one.
- Have a plan and specification for your mulching job.
- Verify the name, address, telephone numbers, and the location of the business.
- Verify how long they have been in business as well as their license and insurance.
- Look at photos of similar mulching jobs completed by contractors.
- Ensure they show interest in your project and display a positive attitude.
- Verify their reputation (BBB, Chamber of Commerce, local suppliers, other contractors, past clients, etc.)
- Get a written contract that is clear, complete and firm, stating all materials, work to be done and amount to be paid with a payment schedule.
- Agree on a start date and a completion date.
- Never pay more than 50% upfront and never give final payment until the job is 100% complete to your satisfaction.
- Get multiple quotes on GoTreequotes.
Benefits of mulching
Some of the benefits of mulch include:
- Insulates the soil so there is less of a dramatic change in temperature
- Retains water/slows down evaporation
- Deters weeds from growing
- Reduces lawn mower damage to the tree
- Prevents soil compaction
- Gives contrast to your yard design
- Makes your landscaping look sharp and finished
- Feeds the organisms in the soil
- Prevents erosion
- Protects the roots of the tree
- Promotes insects like earthworms to hang out in the soil
If you want to mulch your yard yourself, there’s a proper way to do it.
Step 1: Choose a color and type of mulch
Step 2: Remove grass, debris, sticks, and weeds from the desired diameter in your yard. Rake the area around the tree so that it is an even surface
Step 3: Spread wood chips 2-4 inches deep and evenly around the trees. This thickness still allows the roots to breathe.
Pro Tip: Keep the mulch about 2 inches from the trunk of each tree so that they do not touch. When mulch covers the tree bark, it can suffocate the tree and cause it to rot.