How Much Does Mulch Cost in 2023?

Mulch projects typically cost $130 to $330 in total, or about $85 per cubic yard.

The average cost for a landscape company to deliver and install mulch is $200, with prices ranging from $130 to $330 in total. Landscape companies typically charge by cubic yard, with an average cost of $85 per cubic yard for materials and installation.

Mulch prices vary depending on the type and quantity that you need. If you need more mulch, buying in bulk is a better option. A cubic yard of mulch costs $45 to $130 and can cover 162 square feet at 2 inches deep or approximately 100 square feet at 3 inches deep.

If you need less than a cubic yard, most landscape companies will sell by the bag. Bagged mulch costs $3 to $7 per bag and covers around 10 square feet at 2 inches deep.

In this article:

Average costs of mulch in 2023

National average cost$200
Typical price range$130 – $330
Extreme low end cost$75
Extreme high end cost$600

The national average cost for professional mulching is $200, with most homeowners spending between $120 and $330 for standard-size landscaping projects. The cost of mulch varies based on a few factors, some of which are:

  • Type of mulch (e.g. organic vs. inorganic)
  • Size of the area
  • Quantity of mulch
  • Local market conditions
  • Transportation costs

The cost of mulch installation also varies, depending on the size of the area and the type of mulch. Mulching a large space can get pretty pricey, running anywhere from $45 to $130 per cubic yard. If organic materials like wood chips are more your style, be prepared to fork over as much as $600 overall.

If you only need a small amount of mulch, landscape companies usually sell it by bag. A bag of mulch is generally between $3 and $7, covering around 10 square feet when spread out 2 inches deep.

If you go for the DIY method and use inorganic mulch for your project, you can pay as little as $75 on average.

Material and labor per cubic yard$45 – $130
Mulch only per cubic yard$20 – $60
Mulch per bag$3 – $7

Mulching cost estimator by project size

On average, mulch costs between $45 and $130 per cubic yard, including delivery and labor. For reference, a cubic yard is approximately equal to 27 cubic feet. One cubic yard of mulch covers about 162 square feet at a depth of 2 inches or approximately 100 square feet at a depth of 3 inches.

Most companies sell mulch in cubic yards. As a result, if your project is larger, you will likely get a better price per cubic yard by buying in bulk. Notice in the following table how the cost per cubic yard decreases as the size of the project increases.

Amount of mulch Approximate coverage (at 2-inch depth)Average cost per cubic yardAverage cost (materials, labor, and delivery)
1 cubic yard162 square feet$45 – $130$45 – $130
2 cubic yards324 square feet $45 – $130$90 – $260
3 cubic yards486 square feet$45 – $130$135 – $390
4 cubic yards648 square feet $35 – $120$140 – $480
5 cubic yards810 square feet$35 – $120$175 – $600
6 cubic yards972 square feet $25 – $110$150 – $660

Other factors that affect cost

In addition to size, there are a few other factors that can affect the cost of mulch.

From the type or color of the mulch you choose to how close the delivery location is to the mulch supplier, these factors will all play a role in how much you ultimately pay.

Types of mulch

The type of mulch you choose has the most significant impact on your project’s cost. Mulching materials are generally divided into two categories: organic and inorganic.

Organic mulch$50 – $150 per cubic yard
Inorganic mulch$20 – $400 per cubic yard

Organic mulch types

Homeowners who choose organic mulch can expect to pay between $50 and $150 per cubic yard.

Cypress, pine bark, and hardwood mulch are the most common types of organic mulch. All three are made from tree products and tend to be dark brown or reddish. They are also known for being durable, resisting compaction, and providing good drainage.

Because they break down, organic mulches provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose. Therefore, they are often used in vegetable garden beds. However, they need to be replaced more often than inorganic mulches.

Organic mulch typesAverage cost (per cubic yard)
Straw $30 – $40
Bark mulch / Wood chips$35 – $100
Sredded hardwood$40 – $70
Pine needles$125 – $150
Cypress mulch$110
Pine bark$30
Hemlock mulch$45

Inorganic mulch types

Inorganic mulches, such as rocks or rubber, cost between $20 and $400 per cubic yard. Because they do not break down, inorganic mulches last longer than organic mulches. 

Inorganic mulches are also available in various colors, which can add a decorative touch to your landscaping. Although they don’t give nutrients to the soil, they can still help with water retention and weed control.

Inorganic mulch typesAverage cost (per cubic yard)
Plastic mulch$10 – $55
Gravel mulch$25 – $55
Crushed seashell mulch$40 – $400
Stone mulch$40 – $140
Rubber mulch$70 – $150

Color of mulch

Mulch is available in various colors, from traditional brown to red, black, and even blue. Colored mulch ranges from $30 to $65 per cubic yard. Although it can cost more than uncolored mulch, colored mulch can add a decorative touch to your landscaping.

Additionally, color can impact how often you need to replace your mulch. For example, black mulch will absorb more heat than lighter-colored mulch, so it will break down faster. In general, darker-colored mulches will need to be replaced more often than lighter-colored mulches.

Mulch colorAverage cost (per cubic yard)
Brown$30 – $40
Red$30 – $40
Tan$30 – $40
Black$40 – $60
Green$40 – $60
Blue$45 – $65


Although the typical cost of mulch is between $20 and $60 per cubic yard or $3 and $7 per bag,  you also need to factor in labor costs.

Some companies will charge a flat rate for their services, while others will charge by the hour. On average, the cost of labor for mulching varies from $50 to $100 per hour or $25 to $70 per cubic yard. So, you can expect to pay around $45 to $130 per cubic yard of mulch, including materials and labor.

The labor cost will depend on your project’s size and how easy it is to access the area you want to mulch. For reference, it will take approximately one hour to spread two to three cubic yards of mulch in a typical garden.

Average cost of materials$20 – $60 per cubic yard / $3 -$7 per bag
Average cost of labor$25 – $70 per cubic yard / $50 – $100 per hour

Mulch delivery fees

The delivery cost will depend on the distance from the mulch supplier to your home or business and the amount of mulch you need. In general, delivery fees range from $45 to $120.

Mulch is available in bags or by truckload. A truckload generally holds between 10 and 15 cubic yards of mulch, which is enough to cover between 1,500 and 2,430 square feet at 2 inches deep.

Some companies may charge a flat delivery fee, while others will charge by the mile. You can save on delivery fees by picking up the mulch yourself. However, if you decide to buy bulk mulch, you will need a truck or trailer to transport it.

When planning a mulching project, it is essential to factor in the cost of the mulch itself and other services that may also be required. For example, if you need to remove existing mulch or vegetation before adding new mulch, this will add to the cost of your project.

Mulch blowing

Mulch blowing typically costs between $35 and $60 per cubic yard, depending on the company and the size of your project. The traditional method of mulching, which involves spreading the mulch by hand, typically costs between $25 and $70 per cubic yard.

Cost of mulch blowing$35 – $60 per cubic yard
Cost of spreading mulch by hand$25 – $70 per cubic yard

Mulch blowing is a quick and easy way to apply mulch to your landscape. The company will use a machine to blow the mulch into place, saving you time and money on labor costs.

Mulching sheets

Mulching sheets, also called landscape fabric or weed mats, are a type of ground cover often used in conjunction with organic mulch. These sheets help to control weeds and can extend the life of your mulch.

Landscape cloth is made from various materials, including plastic, fabric, and metal. It typically costs between $0.20 and $0.65 per square foot, the plastic option being the most affordable.

To install landscape fabric yourself, you must follow several steps, such as measuring and cutting the fabric to size, installing landscape staples, and trimming any excess fabric. The entire process can take several hours. Hiring a pro to install it for you may be worth it.


Weed control typically costs between $65 and $170 per treatment, depending on the size of your project. This cost may be included in the price of mulching if you hire a professional landscaping company.

When mulching, it is crucial to remove any existing weeds from the area, along with their root systems. Otherwise, weed growth will affect the efficacy of the mulch, and you’ll spend more money in the long run.


If your landscape is uneven, you may need to hire a company to grade it before mulching. Otherwise, the mulch will not be evenly distributed, impacting its appearance and effectiveness. The national average cost of land grading falls between $800 and $4,000 for a typical project.

Leveling an unleveled lawn is not as difficult as you may think, and you may be able to save money by doing it yourself. You can use a hand tiller, also called a garden hoe, to smooth out the bumps in your lawn.


Whether you prefer a traditional look or something more modern, there are a variety of edging materials to choose from, including concrete, stone, brick, plastic, and metal. Edging price ranges between $5 and $13 per linear foot, depending on your chosen material.

Edging, also known as landscape curbing, is the process of creating a defined boundary between your mulched area and the rest of your landscape. It can give your landscaping a clean, polished look and keep your mulch in place.

DIY mulching cost

Mulching is a relatively simple landscaping task when you have a small area to cover. All you need is a wheelbarrow, garden trowel, rake, shovel, and mulch.

On the other side, larger mulching projects can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Hiring a professional landscaping company is best, especially if you don’t have the right equipment.

The cost of the mulch itself can vary depending on the type you choose but is usually around $20 to $60 per cubic foot. If you’re doing the job yourself, you’ll need some essential tools that will set you back around $115 if you don’t have them already. 

DIY cost breakdown

ItemAverage cost
Mulch$20 – $60 per cubic yard / $3 – $7 per bag
Garden gloves$12
Garden trowel$10

Remember that delivery fees will also apply if you need a large quantity and don’t have a way to transport the mulch yourself.

How to mulch your garden bed in 6 steps

1. Decide how much mulch you need. A general rule of thumb is to use 1 cubic foot of mulch for every 100 square feet of garden area, wich will spread to a depth of 3 inches.

2. Prepare your landscape by ridding it of any existing mulch or vegetation and grading it if necessary.

3. Transport mulch to your landscape in a wheelbarrow or truck.

4. Spread the mulch evenly with a rake, garden trowel, or shovel.

5. Apply a layer 2 to 4 inches deep for the best balance of weed prevention, water retention, and drainage. 

6. Edging is optional but can give your landscaping a clean, finished look and keep the mulch from spreading into your lawn.

DIY vs. professional mulch installation

If you want to have mulch installed professionally, you can expect to pay an additional $25 to $70 per cubic yard or $50 to $100 per hour of labor. So, for professional installation, one cubic yard of mulch will cost you between $45 and $130 in total.

If you choose to do the work yourself, you’ll need to factor in the cost of tools and equipment, adding $115 to your total cost if you don’t own the necessary tools. 

Average DIY cost of mulch$20 – $60 per cubic yard 
Average cost of mulch professionally installed$45 – $130 per cubic yard

When deciding whether to install mulch yourself or hire a professional, consider the size of your project and your experience level. For small projects, doing it yourself may be manageable. However, for larger projects, it’s best to hire a professional.

Cost by location

Mulching costs vary depending on where you live. In general, larger cities and metropolitan areas tend to have higher fees than smaller towns, due to the high demand for landscaping services and the increased cost of living in these areas.

For example, the labor cost is usually higher in larger cities because wages are generally higher. The cost of materials is also usually higher due to the increased cost of transportation.

In order to get an accurate estimate of mulching costs in your area, it’s best to get quotes from local landscaping companies.


1) What is mulch?

Mulch is a layer of material spread over the soil’s surface that helps to protect plant roots, retain moisture, and control weeds. Mulch can be organic, such as pine needles or wood chips, or inorganic, such as stones or rubber nuggets.

2) Do I need to remove old mulch before applying new mulch?

It’s not necessary to remove old mulch before applying the new. However, if the old mulch is starting to break down and decompose, it’s a good idea to remove it so that you can start with a fresh layer.

3) What are the benefits of mulching?

Mulching has several benefits, including:

  • Keeping the soil moist
  • Preventing weeds from growing
  • Improving the appearance of your garden
  • Helping to control pests and termites

4) Can I use mulch around my trees?

Yes, you can use mulch around trees. This will help to protect the roots and prevent weeds from growing.

5) How thick should I apply mulch?

A general rule of thumb is to apply a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches deep.

6) How can I get free mulch?

There are several ways to get free mulch, including:

  • Asking your local landscaping company if they have any leftover mulch
  • Collecting fallen leaves, pine needles, or other organic debris from your yard or a public park

7) When is the best time to spread mulch?

The best time to spread mulch is in the spring or fall to protect your plants from the extreme temperatures of summer and winter.

8) How many bags of mulch do I need?

One cubic yard of mulch at 3 inches deep should cover around 100 square feet. So, if you’re mulching a 10×10-foot area, you’ll need approximately 10 to 13 bags of mulch.

9) How do I determine how many cubic yards of mulch I need?

To determine how many cubic yards of mulch you need, use the following formula:

  • Length x width x depth (in inches) / 324 = cubic yards needed

*Note: 1 cubic yard of mulch covers 324 square feet at 1-inch deep.

For example, if you’re mulching a 10×10-foot area that is 3 inches deep, you would need approximately 1 cubic yard of mulch:

  • 10 x 10 x 3= 300/324 = 0.93 cubic yards

For round areas, use the following formula:

  • π (3.14) x radius (in feet) squared x depth (in inches) / 324 = cubic yards needed


  • The radius is determined by measuring from the circle’s center to the edge.
  • Radius squared is simply the radius multiplied by itself.

For example, if the radius is 5 feet and you’re applying a 3-inch layer of mulch, you would need approximately 1 cubic yard:

  • 3.14 x 5 x 5 x 3 = 235.5/324= 0.72 cubic yards

You can break the area into smaller, more manageable sections for irregular shapes. Use the formula for rectangles or circles to determine the amount of mulch needed for each section. Then, add all the sections together to get the total amount of mulch required for the entire area.

Final thoughts

The average cost of professional mulching is $30 to $145 per cubic yard, including delivery and installation. Mulch prices vary depending on the type of mulch, the delivery fee, and the amount of mulch you need.

Mulching is a great way to improve the appearance of your garden and keep the soil moist. It’s essential to choose the right mulch for your needs and apply it at the proper depth. Be sure to get quotes from local landscaping companies to estimate your area’s mulching costs.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo By: Joe Hoover / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Luminita Toma

Luminita Toma is a nature-loving writer who simply adores pretty flowers and lawns. After plenty of research and writing on lawn care and gardening, she's got a keen eye for plants and their maintenance. When she's got some spare time, there's nothing she enjoys more than chilling with her friends, hitting the theatre, or traveling.