How Much Does Mulch Cost in 2024?

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. 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 you need. If you need more mulch, buying in bulk is a better option. A cubic yard of mulch costs $30 to $110 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 $3.25 to $6.50 per bag and covers around 10 square feet at 2 inches deep.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Average costs of mulch in 2024

National average cost$85 per cubic yard
Typical price range$50 – $155 per cubic yard
Extreme low end cost$55
Extreme high end cost$910

The national average cost for professional mulching is $85 per cubic yard including labor, with most homeowners spending between $50 and $155. The cost of mulching projects 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 $30 to $110 per cubic yard without labor. If organic materials like cypress mulch are more your style, be prepared to fork over $910 or more if you’re planning to mulch a large area.

If you only need a small amount of mulch, landscape companies usually sell it by bag. A bag of mulch is generally between $3.25 and $6.50, covering around 10 square feet when spread 2 inches deep.

If you go for the DIY method and use inorganic mulch for your project, you can pay as little as $55 on average.

Material and labor per cubic yard$50 – $155
Mulch only per cubic yard$30 – $110
Mulch per bag$3.25 – $6.50

Mulching cost estimator by project size

On average, mulch costs between $50 and $155 per cubic yard, excluding delivery. 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 and approximate coverage at 2-inch depthAverage cost per cubic yardAverage cost (materials, labor, and delivery)
1 cubic yard (162 sq. ft.)$30 – $110$110 – $295
2 cubic yards (324 sq. ft.)$30 – $80$170 – $390
3 cubic yards (486 sq. ft.)$30 – $80$220 – $515
4 cubic yards (648 sq. ft.)$30 – $65$340 – $720
5 cubic yards (810 sq. ft.)$30 – $65$390 – $830
6 cubic yards (972 sq. ft.)$25 – $60$410 – $910

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$40 – $130 per cubic yard
Inorganic mulch$25 – $260 per cubic yard

Organic mulch types

On average, homeowners who choose organic mulch can expect to pay between $30 and $145 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)
Pine straw mulch$20 – $55
Pine bark$30
Bark mulch$30 – $100
Wood chips$30 – $110
Straw$35 – $40
Shredded hardwood$40 – $70
Tea tree mulch $45
Hemlock mulch$50
Hay mulch$60
Redwood mulch$65
Playground mulch (wood fibers)$65
Cedar mulch$100
Cypress mulch$110

Inorganic mulch types

Meanwhile, inorganic mulches such as rocks or rubber cost an average of $40 to $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)
Synthetic pine straw$40 – $60
Crushed seashell mulch$40 – $400
Glass mulch$50 – $70
Stone and gravel mulch$50 – $180
Lava rock mulch$50 – $180
Rubber mulch$80 – $140

Color of mulch

Mulch is available in various colors, from traditional brown to red, black, and even blue. Colored mulch ranges from $30 to $135 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 – $135
Red$30 – $40
Tan$30 – $45
Black$40 – $55
Green$40 – $55
Blue$40 – $60


Although the typical cost of mulch is between $30 and $110 per cubic yard or $3.25 and $6.50 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 labor cost for mulching varies from $55 to $90 per hour or $20 to $45 per cubic yard. So, you can expect to pay around $50 to $155 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 2 to 3 cubic yards of mulch in a typical garden.

Average cost of materials$30 – $110 per cubic yard / $3.25 – $6.50 per bag
Average cost of labor$20 – $45 per cubic yard / $55 – $90 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 $70 to $140.

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 mulch suppliers use pickup trucks instead, which hold between 1 to 3 yards of mulch.

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 also may 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 groundcover 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 $0.05 and $0.85 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.


The cost of weed control typically ranges from $65 to $165 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 $770 and $3,000 for a typical project.

The process of 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 prices range between $15 and $20 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 $30 to $110 per cubic yard. If you’re doing the job yourself, you’ll need some essential tools that will set you back around $179 if you don’t have them already.

DIY cost breakdown

ItemAverage cost
Mulch$30 – $110 per yard
Garden gloves$12
Landscape rake$65
Garden trowel$10
Dust mask$12 (per pack)
Total cost$209 – $289 (for a project that needs 1 yard of mulch),
plus $30 – $110 per additional yard of mulch

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

DIY vs. professional mulch installation

If you want to have mulch installed professionally, you can expect to pay an additional $20 to $45 per cubic yard or $55 to $90 per hour of labor. So, for professional installation, one cubic yard of mulch will cost you between $50 and $155

If you choose to do the work yourself, you’ll only need to factor in the cost of tools and equipment, adding $179 to the cost of materials if you don’t own the necessary tools. The labor cost is “free”, as you’ll only be paying in your sweat and time.

Average DIY cost of mulch$209 – $289 (if you have no materials), plus $30 – $110 per cubic yard of additional mulch 
Average cost of mulch professionally installed$50 – $155 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 might be best to hire a professional.

Cost of mulch 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.

FAQ about the cost of mulch

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.

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

For example, if you’re mulching a 10-by-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.

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.

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
  • Asking your local tree service if they offer free wood chip mulch
  • Researching if your city’s environmental service department offers free mulch
  • Collecting fallen leaves, pine needles, or other organic debris from your yard or a public park
  • Using newspapers, compost, and cardboard

Should you hire a pro to lay down mulch?

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. The average cost of professional mulching is $50 to $155 per cubic yard, including delivery and installation. Prices vary depending on the type of mulch, the delivery fee, and the amount of mulch you need. 

Be sure to get quotes from local landscaping companies. Lawn Love can connect you with pros in your area who offer mulching, lawn care, and gardening services.

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

Janine Caayao

Janine Caayao has always been fascinated with growing plants, from fruits and veggies to bonsai trees and orchids. Now, she’s interested in urban gardening with her family. She loves finding new tips and tricks to keep their plants thriving.