Mulch comes in two forms: bulk and bag. Commercial property owners and homeowners plan their projects. Professional landscapers then bring the projects to fruition. Mulch is the finishing touch. However, those new to mulching should study its benefits.
Should I buy bagged mulch? Why should I buy mulch in bulk?
Organic vs. Inorganic Mulch
Mulch comes in two types: organic and inorganic. Organic mulch is made from plant matter, such as pine needles, grass clippings, leaves, straw, and bark or wood chips. Some mulch contains animal waste. Some DIY-ers make their own compost to use as mulch.
Inorganic mulch doesn’t come from nature. It comes from plastics, black silk landscape fabric, stones, and rubber chips. Some gardeners even use newspaper as an underlayment to the soil. It prevents weeds from getting a foothold.
Benefits Of Bagged Mulch
Gardeners who live on small properties with fewer trees to mulch, or only have one or two flower beds might buy bags of mulch. Here’s why:
Mulch is sold per cubic foot
Bags of mulch contain two cubic feet of product. A homeowner would need 13.5 bags to net one yard of mulch. One cubic yard of mulch covers a 325 square foot area an inch deep.
Pack a wheelbarrow with as many bags as you’ll need, or haul them on your shoulders. Either way, the mulch gets where it’s needed without a great pile of it in the driveway.
Catch it on sale
Bagged mulch is more expensive, but if you get it on sale, then it rivals bulk mulch for price. Many big box stores will sell it, let’s say, five for ten. That makes the bags two dollars per bag. Otherwise, while regular prices vary across the country, bagged mulch usually runs around four dollars per bag, which covers around eight square feet.
It allows homeowners to be stylish
Bagged mulch can come in different colors and textures. Homeowners wishing to highlight certain aspects of their property, or want to create a focal point might buy bagged mulch.
Why Should I Buy Mulch In Bulk?
Perhaps one of the best reasons to buy mulch in bulk is that it’s fresh. How many times have you shopped at the Farmer’s Market for fresh produce? Suddenly, the bagged produce at the supermarket doesn’t look so appetizing. It’s the same with bulk mulch:
• Bagged mulch has been bagged sometimes for months before you go to the big box store to buy it. Its efficiency and quality have been flagged so that you’re getting perhaps half the strength of what you should have. Bulk mulch is freshly ground, so it’s at the height of its potency.
• Bulk mulch is more eco-friendly. Considering you need 13 bags of mulch to cover one cubic yard, do the math. You’ll have at the very least 100 plastic bags to recycle (if your county recycles) after your gardening. You won’t worry about plastic bags with bulk mulch.
• Ease of application. Take a bag of mulch and dump it in the area you want to cover. Now take a rake or shovel and move it around the area. It takes a lot of time to get the one to two or even three inches you want uniformly around the area. You have to keep transporting and opening bags to get the depth and uniformity you want.
Bulk mulch can be transported in a wheelbarrow or a five-gallon bucket. It can be applied to any depth you wish in a uniform manner. It doesn’t take all day, either.
• Save money. If you mulch every spring and fall, then you know about the prices. Perhaps this year you’ll forego the expense of bags and choose bulk mulch. When you break it down per cubic foot, it’s cheaper than bags.
Garden Tools Needed To Spread Mulch
The only way to get bulk mulch from its pile on the driveway to your plants is to transport it via wheelbarrow or five-gallon buckets. You’ll need a shovel to get the mulch into the barrow or bucket.
The shovel will be necessary to make small piles of mulch around your plants. To spread it once it’s there, you’ll need a bow rake to even it out. A bow rake has short tines of about three inches. It’s wide, too, so it’s the best rake for moving the mulch where you want it to go.
For more precise work, you’ll want to use a hand rake. This will get the mulch up under the foliage of your plants and against the plant itself. A hand rake looks much like a leaf rake, just smaller. The tines are about five to six inches and a little sturdier than a leaf rake.
Determine The Square Footage Of The Garden Area
Measuring the area of a garden is as simple as area = length x width. You can also measure one side of a square garden plot, then multiply that number by itself to get the square footage. For a rectangular plot, measure the length and the width. Multiply the two to get the square footage.
If you ever find yourself thinking, “why should I buy mulch in bulk?”. Remember the benefits of doing so. Save yourself some time in money by buying mulch in bulk.