The use of mulch is proven to be beneficial in gardening. It helps maintain moisture and coolness in the soil, keeps weeds from growing, and adds appeal to your garden bed. There are also organic mulches that help enhance the soil’s drainage, structure, and nutrient-holding capacity as they decompose.
However, it’s important to know how to determine the amount of mulch you’ll need to be effective. The use of excessive mulch can cause several issues.
There is no doubt that mulch is very effective in gardening. But, using too much can lead to problems. Here is a list of what can happen if you use an excessive amount of mulch:
If you don’t want to encounter any of these issues, you’ll need to know how to determine how much mulch you need.
Let’s discuss that.
To avoid the use of excessive mulch, you can follow this simple step-by-step guide. You will only need a measuring tape or wheel and a calculator for this process.
There are different types of mulch that you can use for gardening and landscaping, such as shredded bark chips, compost, pine straw, wood chips, newspaper, grass clippings, and many more. It is best to match the mulch that you will use with which plants you are planning to grow on your garden bed. Once you decide on the type of mulch you will be using; you can follow a mulch calculator formula to determine the right amount you should put on your garden bed.
The square footage of your garden area where you will put the mulch is essential in calculating the appropriate amount to use. Calculating the total square footage will depend on the shape of your garden bed.
If you have a square or rectangular garden, simply multiply the length by its width. Make sure to use a foot as your metric. On the other hand, if you have a circular garden bed, measure the distance from the center to the edge and take that as your radius. After that, multiply it by itself and to the value of pi (π) or 3.14.
The next step is to determine how deep the mulch layer should be. If it’s going around trees and shrub beds, it’s highly suggested to have three to four inches of mulch layer. Meanwhile, the recommended thickness is one to three inches for vegetable and flower beds.
The formula you will use to determine how much mulch you need will depend on whether you are using a bagged mulch or a bulk mulch. Bagged mulches in the US are sold in cubic feet, while bulk mulches are measured in cubic yards.
You can use this formula and step-by-step calculation process to determine how much mulch you need when you buy mulch in bulk.
Doing these two steps will give you the bulk mulch you need in cubic yards. So, for example, you have a rectangular garden bed. Its length measures 40 feet, while its width measures 20 feet. The square footage that you should get is 800 feet.
After that, say you want to plant flowers on that garden bed. The appropriate mulch layer thickness is from one to three inches, and you want it to be at two inches. To get the total amount of mulch you need, you will multiply 800 by 2 and divide it by 324. The answer that you should get is 4.84 cubic yards- this is the amount of bulk mulch that you need.
If you are buying a bagged mulch instead, this is how to determine how much mulch you need:
Multiply the square footage of your garden bed to one of these numbers, based on how thick you want your mulch layer to be:
1 inch deep = 0.083
2 inches deep = 0.167
3 inches deep = 0.25
4 inches deep = 0.33
5 inches deep = 0.417
That should give you the right amount of mulch you need. So, for example, you have a circular garden bed with a 10 feet radius. Multiply that by itself and to 3.14 to get the square footage. You should have 314 by doing that.
Once you have the square footage, determine the thickness of mulch you want to apply. Suppose you want a 4-inch deep mulch layer, then you should multiply 314 by 0.33. That will give you 103.62 cubic feet of bagged mulch.
Landscape Improvements is the best that you can go to for landscaping requirements in Florida. Worry no more about the numbers and calculating the right amount of mulch that you need to put in your garden. We can do that for you with our Mulch Redressing services.
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