How Much Does It Cost to Mulch?

Typical Range:

$100 - $300

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated July 14, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Mulch doesn’t just look nice—it also helps nourish and insulate the plants in your garden. Mulching prices typically range from $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot, including delivery and installation, with an average of $0.35 per square foot. The cost to mulch an average-sized garden of 500 square feet will run you around $175, with most homeowners spending between $100 and $300 for a three-inch layer of mulch.

Mulch Pricing by Volume

The price of mulch varies based on how much you buy. You can buy mulch two different ways. You can purchase bags from your local garden center or hardware store. They typically sell them in increments of 1.5 to 2 cubic feet per bag. You can also have mulch delivered in bulk by the cubic yard. This is usually less expensive and more convenient, considering most homeowners need several bags for even just a small job. 

How Much Is a Yard of Mulch? 

Mulch costs between $30 to $150 per cubic yard. One cubic yard covers about 100 square feet when installed at a depth of 3 inches. The actual price depends on the type of mulch, and you’ll get a better deal if you purchase large quantities.

Bulk Mulch Prices per Square Foot

The larger the quantity of mulch, the less you’ll pay. For example, a bag of mulch costs $4 to $6 for two cubic feet, but only covers an area of eight square feet. A scoop of mulch costs around $15 for 0.5 cubic yards and covers an area of about 50 square feet. Meanwhile, a truckload of mulch costs $550 for 20 cubic yards, which is enough mulch for 2,000 square feet at a depth of three inches. Keep in mind, this doesn’t include delivery fees.

Mulch Pricing by Type

Most mulch ranges from $30 to $150 per cubic yard, but it depends on the material. Inorganic mulches, like plastic or gravel, can cost well below the norm, while a material like seashell could cost way more. Most people reach for softwoods, whether shredded bark or wood chips. Most importantly, though, is that there’s an option for every budget.

Cost of Organic Mulch

You can use your own yard waste as mulch for free, but most organic mulch on the market costs between $30 to $150 per cubic yard. Certain softwoods are at the higher end of the spectrum, while materials like pine bark, straw, and shredded hardwood are less expensive.

TypeTypical Cost Per Cubic Yard
Pine bark$30
Wood chips/shredded hardwood$40
Shredded bark (miscellaneous woods)$95
Pine needles$150

Cost of Inorganic Mulch

Though shredded barks and softwoods are some of the most common kinds of mulch, you can also use an inorganic mulch. These excel at weed control and aid in drainage, but they won’t nourish your plants unless you mix in organic matter.

TypeTypical Cost per Cubic Yard
Rocks and gravel$20 – $50
Synthetic pine straw$40 – $60
Glass mulch$50 – $70
Rubber mulch$80 – $120
Crushed seashells$40 – $400
Plastic mulching sheet $0.03 – $0.20 (per linear foot)
Landscape cloth$0.10 – $0.30 (per square foot)

Cost of Mulch by Color

Even if the cost of a landscape designer isn’t in your budget, you can still use mulch to spruce up your landscape design. Colored mulch can provide a striking contrast to plants or compliment your home and existing landscape. It’s important to remember that most vibrantly colored mulches are dyed, and in some cases, may contain colored rubber rather than organic wood. Dye generally increases the price, but make sure to read the ingredients before purchasing.

Brown mulch$30 – $40
Red mulch$30 – $40
Tan mulch$30 – $45
Black mulch$40 – $60
Green mulch$40 – $60
Blue mulch$45 – $65

Mulch Installation Costs

The typical cost to install landscaping is anywhere from $1,300 to $5,700, and mulch is just a tiny fraction of that price. Most homeowners spend between $25 and $45 per cubic yard (or an average of $35 per cubic yard)to have a professional install mulch around their property.

Mulch Blowing

Most homeowners spend $35 to $60 per cubic yard on mulch blowing, with an average cost of $50 per cubic yard. This is a faster process than laying mulch by hand, and it’s more convenient for larger landscaping projects. As a result, it costs a little bit more than traditional installation.


The cost to deliver mulch is typically between $50 and $150, but it depends on your area. If you’re doing a large project, you’ll pay more for multiple truckloads (each truck typically holds up to 20 cubic yards of mulch). The delivery company may also charge more to deliver to remote locations.

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DIY Mulching vs. Hiring a Professional

Mulch is a relatively inexpensive material, so you can do this project on a budget by cutting out the labor—but you may not want to. Mulch is heavy and requires a labor-intensive installation if you don’t have professional mulch-blowing equipment. Most homeowners don’t even have vehicles large enough to transport the required amount of mulch for a typical job.

Hiring a landscaping company near you will save you a lot of effort. Even if you don’t go that route, you’ll probably still want to hire a local mulch delivery service to deliver the mulch to your door.


How do I calculate how much mulch I need?

Simply use a topsoil calculator rather than doing the math by hand.

What type of mulch is best?

The best type of mulch to use depends on how and where you’re using it. Inorganic mulches (particularly rubber mulch and plastic sheeting) are great for weed control. They’re also popular in parks and playgrounds because they don’t break down quickly and pad the ground, but you’ll still need to mix them with another kind of mulch if you want to nourish your plants. Consider using the following organic mulches:

  • Bark/wood 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, but it does break down quickly.

  • Straw: Use this in your vegetable garden. It prevents soil-borne diseases from infecting your plant leaves and prevents mud.

How deep should mulch go?

A layer of mulch should be about two to three inches deep, though sometimes people lay mulch at a depth of one inch if they’re working with a finer material or plan to layer different mulches (like, for example, a plastic sheet above compost). 

How much does a yard of mulch cover?

It depends on how deep you’re laying the mulch. One cubic yard of mulch covers an area of about:

  • 100 square feet at a depth of three inches

  • 161 square feet at a depth of two inches

  • 324 square feet at a depth of one inch

How much does a yard of mulch weigh?

A cubic yard of mulch can weigh anywhere from 400 to 800 pounds, depending on the material’s density and moisture content. Dry mulch will usually weigh significantly less than moist mulch.

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