Adding a layer of mulch to your garden helps to conserve water, maintain soil temperature and suppress weeds. Some mulches add aesthetic value to the garden by highlighting the plants and flowers. Whether you choose organic mulch, such as leaf mold, wood chips and grass clippings, or inorganic mulch such as plastic or pebbles, depends on your specific goals. Either way, calculating the amount needed requires a little math.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Note pad
Determine the desired depth of the mulch. For effective weed control, a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch may be effective, but the depth depends on the material used and your desired results. If using crushed stone or other inorganic mulch, a depth of 2 inches may be adequate.
Measure the length and width of the gardening area in feet. Note partial feet as decimals. Use .25 for 3 inches, .50 for 6 inches and .75 for 9 inches. Round up to the nearest 1/4 foot (3 inches). For example, if your bed measures 4 feet 4 inches, round the inches up to 6 inches (.50) and convert it to 4.5 feet.
Multiply the width times the length. This number indicates the surface area of the garden, noted in square feet. For example, in a garden with a width of 4.5 feet and a length or 6.25, the surface area equals 28.125 square feet.
Multiply the square footage of the area, in this case 28.125 square feet, by the depth of the mulch required for your garden. For example, if you desire a 3-inch layer of mulch, convert it to a decimal. (Three inches equals .25 feet.)
Multiply this number by the area of the garden. Using the previous example, multiply 28.125 by .25 to get 7.03 cubic feet of mulch.
Purchase the appropriate mulch using 7.03 cubic feet as your guide. Check the cubic feet of mulch in the container to ensure that you will have enough mulch. The cubic feet of mulch is typically prominently labeled on the front or side of the package.
Tips & Warnings
- Large quantities of mulch may be labeled in cubic yards. To convert cubic feet to cubic yards, divide the number of cubic feet by 324 square feet.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Order Mulch by the Cubic Yard
Garden mulch stops weeds and helps your garden stay moist. According to the University of Florida, mulching provides many additional benefits, including...
How to Calculate How Much Mulch Needed
Adding mulch to your garden bed before winter is a great way to protect your plants and flowers from the harsh conditions....
How to Calculate Wood Chip Mulch
Mulching is one of the most important things you can do for your garden beds. It helps the soil hold moisture, keeps...
How to Price Spreading Mulch
Mulching large parts of a yard can get expensive depending upon the type of mulch. Knowing how much the cost will be...
Brown Vs. Black Mulch
Mulch is a natural material that is beneficial to plants and landscaping. Mulch can be dyed to be brown or black in...