How Much Does A Bag Of Mulch Weigh And Cover?

Knowing the weight of a bag of mulch is helpful in determining how much mulch you need for a landscaping project.

The weight of a bag of mulch is primarily determined by the type of mulch it is.

In other words, two bags of mulch may be exactly the same physical size but vary in weight significantly.

Different Types Of Mulch Have Different Weights & Coverage

The weight of each type of mulch varies greatly depending on the composition. We are going to list the common weights for a variety of mulches.

Many retailers sell mulch in 2 cubic foot bags, so we are going to take this value in calculating the weights and coverage.

This is assuming that the average bag is 2 cubic feet which most retailers sell.

Organic Mulches

Organic Mulches

Organic mulches generally weigh less per bag than inorganic ones and consist of leaves, grass, bark, and straw.

Bark Mulches

Bark-type mulches like cedar weigh around 18 lbs for a 2 cubic foot bag. Pine bark is slightly heavier at 22 lbs.

Generally speaking, bark mulch weighs around 40 lbs per 2 cubic foot bag and will cover 24 square feet at a depth of 1 inch.

Straw Mulches

On the other end of the spectrum, pine straw mulch and other straw mulches are a lighter type of mulch and cover a lot more surface area per pound. A 40 lbs, 2 cubic foot bag will have an average coverage of 400 square feet at a 1 inch depth.

Compost Mulches

Compost mulches can also be purchased and are very high in nutrient value. These are really as organic as you can get when it comes to organic mulches.

They are on the heavier side and can weigh as much as 80 lbs per 2 cubic foot bag. Like wood mulches, you can expect a bag this size to cover about 24 square feet, 1 inch deep.

Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic mulches typically weigh more than their organic counterparts. They are more expensive and cover less area per bag. The upside is that they will last longer due to slower degradation. The most common types include rock and rubber mulch.

Rubber Mulch

You’ll find rubber mulch commonly sold in bag sizes of 0.8 cubic feet. This typically covers about 10 square feet at a 1 inch depth. The weight is about 35 lbs.

Equivalently, a 2 cubic foot bag of rubber mulch will weigh 87.5 lbs and cover 25 square feet at 1 inch depth.

For some comparison that is more than twice the weight of a 2 cubic foot bag of straw mulch, whilst covering 16 times less surface area!

Rock Mulch

Common types of rock mulch include river rock, lava rock, egg rock, and marble chips.

  • 2 cubic feet of river rock mulch covers about 16 square feet at 1 inch depth and weighs 200 lbs.
  • 2 cubic feet of lava rock mulch covers about 24 square feet at 1 inch depth and weighs 70 lbs.
  • 2 cubic feet of egg rock mulch covers about 24 square feet at 1 inch depth and weighs 180 lbs.
  • 2 cubic feet of marble chips mulch covers about 16 square feet at 1 inch depth and weighs 180 lbs.

Because of the weighty nature of these mulches, most rock mulch is sold in smaller 0.5 cubic foot bags.

How Much Mulch Do I Need?

In order to figure out how much mulch you need for a landscaping project, you need to find out the following:

  • The square footage you need to cover in mulch. For example, if the area is 10 feet by 15 feet in size, then you’ll need to cover an area of 150 square feet.
  • Take note of the information on the bag of mulch or the attached documentation. This will tell you how much area the mulch will cover based on the depth (or thickness) of the mulch. If a bag covers 40 square feet at 1 inch depth, then you’ll need 4 bags to cover 150 square feet. If however; you want your mulch to be 2 inches in depth, then you’ll need 8 bags.
  • The thickness of the mulch. Whilst a bag may cover 40 square feet, this may be only rated for a depth of 1 inch. It is recommended to lay mulch at a depth of 2 – 4 inches, so at 2 inches, the same bag will only cover 20 square feet.

When you decide on the square footage of your project and how thick your mulch will be, you will then know exactly how much mulch you need. This will save you both time and money.

How Many Bags Of Mulch On A Pallet?

How Many Bags Of Mulch On A Pallet

If you’re looking to buy large quantities of mulch for a big project, it is likely to be delivered to you on pallets.

A standard wood pallet has a size of 48″ by 40″ and a weight carrying capacity of 4600 lbs. Generally speaking, many manufacturers won’t pack a pallet above 78″ in height. Therefore; you are working with an approximate 86 cubic-foot volume.

If you are ordering 2 cubic foot bags, then you can fit at least 43 of these bags on a standard pallet.

Besides pallet height, weight is also a limiting factor when it comes to the number of bags you can fit on a pallet. The heavier the mulch per cubic foot (and the less coverage it has) the more pallets you will have to order.

1 pallet of rubber mulch will cover 1075 square feet at 1-inch depth. Straw mulch will cover 17200 square feet using the same sized pallet.

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