facebook pixel
cost guide icon
 

Mulch Delivery Cost

Mulch Delivery Cost

National average
$145
(per cubic yard of a medium-grade hemlock mulch delivered and scattered in 2-3 spots)
Low: $55

(per cubic yard of bark mulch delivery dumped in your driveway)

High: $185

(per cubic yard of premium redwood mulch, delivered and dumped in a specific spot)

Cost to have mulch delivered varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from landscapers in your city.

The average cost to have mulch delivered is $145.

In this guide

How much mulch do you need?
Types of mulch
Choosing the right mulch
Thickness
Colored mulch
Delivery process
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to have mulch delivered?

Mulch 1 does more than give your lawn and garden a fresh, cultured look. It also helps keep it healthy and fertile. Without mulch, your flowers and grass could dry out, get taken over by weeds, fail to grow and reproduce, and just look kind of haggard. By adding mulch around your landscaping, you are giving those plants the cool, rich, and moist soil they need to thrive.

No matter what size your yard or garden, it is usually best to have quality mulch delivered. The average cost of one cubic yard of mulch, delivered runs about $145.

How much mulch do you need?

There is no way to know for sure how much mulch you need until you measure the area and decide how deep you want to install it. Whether you are laying a new lawn, starting a new garden, reseeding an existing lawn, or lining driveways, sidewalks, and around trees, the first thing you have to decide is where you want the mulch to go. Then, begin measuring the area. For flat, rectangular, or square areas, multiply the width by the length. Round areas need to be measured from the middle to the edge. Whatever number you come up with, multiply it by 3.14.

Next, take the square footage you just came up with and multiply it by the number of inches you would like your mulch bed to be in depth (this is usually 1-3 inches). So, if you want your mulch to be two inches thick, multiply the square footage by 2. Finally, divide that number by 324. This will give you the cubic yards needed.

So, let’s say that you want to mulch a three-foot by six-foot garden. You will multiply 3 x 6, which equals 18. If you want the mulch to be three inches thick, then you would multiply 18 by 3 for a total of 54. Now multiply this number by 3.14. The grand total is 169.56. Finally, divide by 324. Once done you will see that you need .52 cubic yards of mulch for the area chosen.

If the math seems too confusing, don’t worry, there are plenty of online mulch calculators to help you figure out exactly how much mulch to buy and install.

Remember, buying mulch by the bag can be useful for small areas when only a few cubic yards are needed (most bags come in 2 cubic yards). But if you are planning to landscape large areas, having it delivered by the truckload or partial truckload is not only easier, but it can save you hundreds of dollars.

Types of mulch

You have probably seen a few different types of mulch at the local home improvement store. But if you thought your only choices were between black, brown, and red chips, you are short-changing your garden. Mulch can be made of almost any material, as long as it can safely lay on top of the soil, protecting it from the harsh sun, wind, weeds, and more.

There are two main forms of mulch: organic and inorganic. Both work well, offering different benefits and properties to the soil. Here is a quick rundown of what you can find under each category, to help you better choose the perfect mulch for your own yardscape.

Organic mulch

Made from plant materials, organic mulch helps to improve the soil by giving it the natural nutrients it needs. Keep in mind though, that it breaks down easily and usually has to be replaced every year. Organic mulch includes:

  • Bark Mulch/Wood Chips: made from felled trees, bark mulch and wood chips usually come in larger pieces (called nuggets) and are commonly used around trees, to line driveways and walkways, and in play areas. It does not help the soil retain its moisture and does not work well to keep soil temperatures low, so most people use it more for decoration than useful garden coverage. The cost of bark mulch runs about $40-$90 per cubic yard, depending on the type.
  • Shredded Hardwood: Made from lumber byproducts, this type of mulch is easy to spread, but does tend to raise the pH level of the soil. It costs around $30 per cubic yard.
  • Hay: New lawns or those being reseeded will benefit from a layer of hay or straw. The reason is simple: it will protect the new seed, offering a cool moist place to grow. Costing about $30 per cubic yard, straw is an economical mulch option.
  • Hemlock Mulch: Offering an attractive burgundy hue to your landscaping, this type of mulch should only be used for ornamental purposes. Warning: it can be toxic to pets and humans if consumed. The cost ranges from $45-$65 per cubic yard.
  • Redwood Mulch: Offering a natural red coloring to your garden area, red mulch isn’t just pretty, it also helps to improve soil fertility. Costing about $60-$70 per cubic yard, it is a blend of redwood 2 chips and shavings.
  • Cedar Mulch: Dense and heavy this is a great option for bordering trees and larger areas and costs about $100 per cubic yard.

Inorganic mulch

If an all-natural, plant-based mulch isn’t to your liking, there are some inorganic options. These are often used for weed control since they are denser than organic mulch options, making it more difficult for weeds to penetrate. Here are the types of inorganic mulch that are available:

  • Rocks/Gravel: A nice looking option for covering any garden area, rocks and gravel keep weeds from overtaking a garden (but beware that stubborn weeds may still make their way through the cracks), while allowing proper water penetration. Costing between $25 and $55 per cubic yard, it is relatively inexpensive, although prices can vary depending on the type and size of the rocks chosen.
  • Rubber Mulch: Less expensive than many other mulch styles (costing about $11 per cubic yard), rubber mulch comes in a variety of colors, making it a great landscaping tool. Plus, it is great at preventing fungus and insects from overtaking your plants
  • Plastic: While plastic does work well at keeping weeds at bay, it must be used carefully to ensure that the roots of your plantings are not compromised. Sold in rolls of 3 x 15 feet (for around $25), plastic sheeting is laid over the ground, and then holes are cut through where the plants are placed so that water and air can get through.

Choosing the right mulch

Mulch comes in a lot of different styles and colors. What works for one area may not work for another. For instance, pine bark is very common and used regularly in flower beds to help enhance the soil. But don’t use it in areas that have water runoff or it may wash away.

Choosing the right mulch depends a lot on the aesthetic you are after, the weather in your area, and the types of plants you have. Azaleas respond well to pine needles due to their thirst for acidic soil, but be careful when using shredded hardwood because some plants don’t do well with the higher pH levels resulting from the use of this type of mulch. When it comes to weather conditions, stone can be a great choice for areas sporting a lot of desert-like or drought-friendly plants since the stone tends to get hot, warming the soil and drying it out.

Thickness

One question you may have when ordering new mulch is how thick to place it in your flower beds and landscaping areas. This is important since it will help you determine how much mulch to buy. For new areas that have never been treated before, most lawn experts suggest 3-4 inches. For those who mulch every year, 1-2 inches is plenty, with the average being about 2-3 inches.

Remember, the more course the mulch, the more you will use, but be wary of adding too much mulch around tender plantings, this can suffocate the plants. Feel free to lay a thick coat of mulch in areas where there are no plants and where you want to keep weeds from infiltrating the area.

Colored mulch

Drive through any neighborhood and you will see a variety of hues when it comes to mulch your neighbors use. From black to brown to red, mulch coloring has become a mainstay in today’s landscape architectural scene. But how do they get the mulch to look like that? In most cases, that distinct mulch color comes from vegetable-based dyes, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, red mulches generally get their rich color from iron oxide (or rust), while black mulch is dyed with carbon. All of these organic dyes are safe.

The safety of most mulch dyes has not quelled the controversy of using these showy mulch colors. For instance, in some cases Chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-laced wood (which contains a wood preservative that protects against deterioration due to termites and fungal decay) has been used to make mulch, which can increase arsenic levels in soil. This can affect the health of those living in your home and even your pets if they come in contact with the mulch or eat vegetables grown in soil that has been covered with CCA-treated wood. To ensure that you are using a CCA-free mulch, be sure to look for the MSC Certified Logo on any mulch you buy. This will protect both your family and your plants.

Delivery process

The way you buy your mulch will impact the delivery fee, as will the labor involved for the delivery people. For instance, for smaller landscaping jobs you may simply want to order the appropriate number of bags and have them delivered to your doorstep. In this case you will pay the per bag price for the mulch itself and then pay standard delivery fee which usually ranges between $50 and $150, depending on how many bags you buy and where you live. Keep in mind that when they are delivered the bags will likely be stacked nearest your fence, garage, or yard. Expect to pay an additional fee of at least $50 if you want the bags scattered in different areas or carried to your backyard. Of course, the most expensive delivery option is to have the crew actually install the mulch 2 in your gardens when they arrive. This usually costs between $80 and $110 per cubic yard.

When buying mulch in bulk, the price will depend on what type of mulch you purchase, how much you purchase (the more you buy, the cheaper it gets), how many miles the truck must travel to get to your home, and whether or not you want the mulch unloaded in one large pile, several piles scattered around your property, or actually installed.

When determining the price of delivery, a lot depends on what the delivery crew will actually do with the mulch when they get to your home. If they are simply emptying the mulch from their truck onto your driveway, the total delivery fee (plus the price of the mulch) will likely be about $35-$50 per cubic yard

Additional considerations and costs

When it comes to buying and installing mulch in your yard and gardens, there is a lot to consider. Before scheduling your delivery, be sure to consider this:

  • Delivery time. Everyone wants their deliveries made on the weekends, which can make scheduling harder (and even increase the price by 10-20%). If possible, consider scheduling your mulch delivery for during the week.
  • Permits & Licenses. Unless your house has been designated a Historic property, there is little chance you will need any special permits or licenses to have mulch delivered and installed on the grounds. Still, it is always a good idea to check with your local zoning and inspections office to be sure.
  • Organic mulch. In many cases it does not last as long as inorganic mulch. Still, it should maintain its appearance for at least 1-2 years.
  • Compost as mulch. Depending on what type of area you are covering, one of the best mulches you can use to give your soil a boost of nutrients is compost 1 you either purchase or make yourself. Even if you buy it, compost is pretty cheap, costing about $25 per cubic yard when buying in bulk. Be careful using it where there are a lot of weeds, though, because it will give weeds the nutrients they need to flourish, along with your plants.
  • Landscape Cloth. One of the least expensive options for protecting your plants from weeds, while also giving them the kind of coverage that allows water and air to penetrate the soil, landscape cloth comes in rolls (costing about $20 per roll, which runs about 15 feet long) and is placed atop the soil around plantings. Rocks or other types of mulch are usually placed on top for a nicer, more refined look.

FAQ

  • How much does mulch delivery cost?

The average cost of mulch delivery is about $145 per cubic yard. This includes the cost of medium hardwood mulch and delivery within 50 miles of the source.

  • What is the best type of mulch to use for landscaping?

This depends a lot on the look you are after, whether you are replacing mulch or starting from scratch, and what types of plants you are using. Basically, though, premium mulches made from hardwoods offer the best protection and most beautiful look. They range in price from $40-$75 per cubic feet without delivery.

  • How much does a cubic yard of mulch cover?

A cubic yard of mulch usually covers about 100 square feet when placed at a one-inch depth. A three-inch depth would reduce the coverage to about 27 square feet.

  • Is it cheaper to buy mulch in bulk or bags?

In most cases, buying in bulk reduces the price by 10-30%.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Compost: (Also known as Mulch) A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile
2 Redwood: Tree with reddish colored timber

Cost to have mulch delivered varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Bark mulch delivered in a bag next to some yellow flowers

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Avon Lake, OH
-21%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Cleveland, TN
-20%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dahlonega, GA
-31%
Dallas, TX
+10%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Lincoln, NE
-13%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Modesto, CA
-12%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Santa Clarita, CA
+24%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Stockton, CA
+4%
Tucson, AZ
-19%
Washington, DC
+23%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources