How to Charge for Mulch Installation that Worth Every penny

To know how to charge for mulch installation first, you need to know about mulch, what is mulch and what types of mulch are suitable for installation. Mulch is basically any material spread over the soil’s surface to lock in moisture and to save water from drying out fast.

Mulch is mostly used in landscaping to add beauty to flower beds. Keep weeds at bay, and add nutrients to the soil. It has additional benefits such as- reducing the growth of weeds and preventing soil drying. You may be wondering how to charge for mulch installation.

Well, I am sure quick research will pull up multiple threads on this topic.The actual price can vary some due to distance traveled from the nearest supplier, distance from trailer to beds, or terrain involved. We will discuss more in detail below.

How To Charge For Mulch Installation?

Now let’s get to the point. We are going to discuss how to bid or how to charge for mulch installation. The cost for a professional landscaper to put down 500 square feet of bark mulch is $200 on average. Mulch installation costs typically range from $0.20 to $0.60 per square foot, depending on the type, on an average of $0.35 per square foot.

The cost of mulch for an average-sized garden of 500 square feet will run you around $175, with most clients spending between $100 and $300.Mulch installation charges basically depend on some fact such as-

How many square feet of the landscape needs mulching?

Measure the scene before bidding; that’s how you will know how much workforce you will need to complete the mulching.

How much mulch do you need?

For example, you are looking to cover a 300 square footage yard with 3inches of mulch, and the calculation would look like this –

300×3/324=2.8 cubic yard. 

If the soil needs to remove weeds on it?

Weed killers can be used on the soil before spreading mulch. It can cost you between $25 and $50 per container of your organic weed control products.

What is the time limitation of finishing the work?

If you have to complete the mulching within less time, you are going to need more workforce and equipment. Two hours of labor can cost up to $110.

What types of mulch your client wants?

The following are the most common types of mulch to choose for landscaping.

Types of Mulch

There are several materials that you can use as mulch to enrich your soil.

#Organic Mulch

  1. Pine straw is a kind of mulch that works wonderfully for any landscape. It comes from the pine tree. It cools the soil down, does not wash you out, and stays put. If you have lots of pine trees around you, pine straw is a good option for you.
  2. Pine bark mini nuggets are the other excellent mulch for any garden. The best part is it has a really great dark brown color in it that works very well in the landscape. Easy to apply, very organic, and good for the soil. I think this is the best mulch for any garden.
  3. Cyprus mulch is another natural material mulch, and its a suitable type of mulch but I must confess, I do not like it as much as I like pine straw or mini nuggets. The main reason is simply the color of the mulch. It just stands out.
  4. Hemlock mulch is a nice one too. The advantage of using hemlock mulch is its natural tannin content makes it a superb organic pest and insect repellent. Hemlock bark has a rich burgundy or carroty color that makes the green shrub garden beautifully contrast. 
  5. Cedar mulch is from the wood of cedar trees. It is used for water retention, weed inhibitions, soil insulation, repelling insects, and improving the look of plant or tree beds. Cedar mulch tends to be heavier and is the best use around the base of large shrubs and trees.

#Synthetic mulch

  1. Rubber mulch generally consists of either waste tires or nuggets of synthetic rubber from tires. Rubber mulch is beneficial for soil moisture, as rubber doesn’t absorb water at all and is non-porous. It also reduces fungal growth and becomes a weed barrier.
  2. Plastic mulch used in a similar mode to mulch. To suppress weeds and preserve water in crop production and landscaping. Certain plastic mulch acts as a barrier to keep methyl bromide, a powerful fumigant, and ozone depleter in the soil.
  3. Rock mulching

What is the market price of mulch?

The following are the average prices of mulch.

  1. Pine straw $30-$40
  2. Shredded hardwood $35-$45
  3. Bark mulch $40-$90
  4. Hemlock mulch $45-$65
  5. Redwood mulch $60-$75
  6. Cedar mulch $100-$110
  7. Plastic mulch $20-30
  8. Rock mulch $25-$55

Labor charge

It is the central fact in mulching installation. Labor or landscape charge either by the hour or by the cubic yard for mulch applications. Installation by the cubic yard will cost between $25 and $50. In addition, $70 can be changed in the case of mulch delivery.

For an hourly rate, a mulch installer can charge $55 to $75 per hour for a two-person crew.

Improvement costs

Suppose a client needs fabric placement under any stone or gravel; it can also cost an additional $20 to $30 per cubic yard for the fabric. Synthetic fabrics work better than the stone by itself at retaining moisture level.

Install Mulch National Average Cost

The national average cost of mulch installation is $0.4 per square foot, with a range between $0.3 to $0.4. The total price for labor and materials per square foot can be $0.8, coming between $0.5 to $1.1. A typical 500 square foot project can cost $406.


An important factor to consider when planning a mulch project is how much it will cost you. Some spend between $250 and $400 per yard, with installation and the average price is $325.

Actually, your basic mulching price will depend on your location or postal code, your job size, condition of mulching bed, manpower availability, and finish option you choose. Or on your business competitive. You can always choose how to charge for mulch installation and adjust the rate in terms of your own profit.