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Calculating Mulch, Compost, and Soil

How much mulch, compost, or soil do I need to buy?

Basically, you need to multiply the length of area that will be your garden bed in feet times the width of the area times the depth of how much mulch, compost, or soil you wish to add. This result gets divided by 324, and you get an amount in cubic yards. This is the formula:



If you buy mulch, compost, or soil in bulk, that is it. You have your amount.

However, mulch is also sold in bags, and many bags are sold in cubic feet (cu ft). So to convert Cubic Yard to Cubic Feet, all you need to do is multiply your result by 27, and you get cubic feet.

Cubic yards x 27= cubic feet

Now, those bags are usually sold in 2- cu ft bags, so to get the number of bags to purchase, simply divide the cubic feet result by 2.

For example: Let's say your butterfly garden is 10 ft long and 12 ft wide. You wish to add a 2- in mulch layer. How many 2- cu ft bags of mulch do you need to buy?


 

To convert to cu ft: 0.74 x 27= 19.98 cu ft.

To get number of 2- cu ft bags: 19.98/ 2= 9.99 bags, or 10 bags.

 

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