How Many Cubic Feet are in a Yard of Mulch?

If you’re planning to start a gardening project, you may have come across the term “yard of mulch.” But what exactly does this term mean, and how can you determine how much mulch you need for your project? In this article, we’ll explore what a yard of mulch is and how many cubic feet it contains.

What is a Yard of Mulch?

A yard of mulch refers to the amount of mulch needed to cover a 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft area, which equals 27 cubic feet. Mulch is typically sold by the cubic yard, which is a standard unit of measurement in the landscaping industry. Landscapers and gardeners use mulch to retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature.

How Many Cubic Feet are in a Yard of Mulch?

As mentioned earlier, a yard of mulch contains 27 cubic feet. This means that if you’re planning to cover an area that measures 100 square feet with a 2-inch layer of mulch, you’ll need approximately 2 cubic yards of mulch. To determine the amount of mulch you need for your project, you can use a simple formula:

Cubic Yards of Mulch = (Square Feet of Area to Cover × Depth in Inches) ÷ 324

For example, if you want to cover an area that measures 500 square feet with a 4-inch layer of mulch, the calculation would be as follows:

Cubic Yards of Mulch = (500 × 4) ÷ 324
Cubic Yards of Mulch = 6.17

So you would need approximately 6.17 cubic yards of mulch to cover this area.

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Types of Mulch

There are various types of mulch available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of mulch include:

  • Wood Chips: Made from shredded wood, wood chips are a popular choice for their natural look and ability to break down and enrich the soil over time.
  • Bark Mulch: Made from tree bark, this type of mulch is available in different sizes and can provide a natural look to your garden.
  • Compost: Compost is an organic material that is created by decomposing yard waste, food scraps, and other organic matter. It can be used as a nutrient-rich mulch that improves soil quality.
  • Gravel and Stones: While not technically a mulch, gravel and stones can provide a low-maintenance alternative that can help with weed control.


Knowing how many cubic feet are in a yard of mulch is essential when planning a gardening project. By understanding this measurement, you can accurately determine how much mulch you need and avoid under or overestimating the amount required. Additionally, choosing the right type of mulch can help enhance the appearance of your garden while providing practical benefits like weed control and soil moisture retention.