How Much Does Mulch Delivery and Installation Cost?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Reviewed by Tara Dudley
Updated November 28, 2022
House with mulched flowerbeds and mature plants
Photo: jhorrocks / E+ / Getty Images


  • Mulch costs range from $30–$120 per cubic yard.

  • Mulching price varies by material, delivery, and labor costs.

  • Mulch gets delivered by truckloads or per bag.

  • Bulk deliveries (by truck) will drive material costs down.

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Adding mulch to garden beds and your home's surrounding areas provides both aesthetic and anti-weed benefits. But the price you’ll pay can vary, depending on if you’re ordering mulch in bulk quantities or having it delivered and installed. However, the national average cost for mulch delivery and installation is $75 per cubic yard.

Minimum CostNational Average CostMaximum Cost
$30 per cubic yard$75 per cubic yard$150 per cubic yard

How Much Does It Cost to Install Mulch?

Broken down into cubic yards, which accounts for both depth and land area being covered, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $150 per cubic yard

Here are some common types of mulch and the price you might pay for delivery.

Mulch TypeCost per Cubic Yard
Red mulch$35
Black mulch$40
Shredded hardwood mulch$40
Cedar mulch$100
Hemlock mulch$45
Cypress mulch$110
Pine bark$30
Rubber mulch$120

Ordering organic mulch can also drive the price up to as much as $150 per square foot. Organic mulch often has better nutrient profiles, soil protection, and moisture retention.

How Much Does Mulch Cost per Square Foot?

Mulch installation costs up to $0.60 per square foot, with the average being around $0.40 per square foot. The type of mulch you install, the area it's being laid over, as well as if it's bulk mulch or just a small patch, can all influence the price you pay.

Many vendors do bulk orders by cubic yard, so you may have to calculate the difference. Even bagged mulch is typically calculated this way—one bag spreads over either 1 or 2 cubic feet at most home improvement stores.

Mulch Cost Breakdown

Average costs for mulch, including delivery, labor, and materials
Photo: DonNichols / E+ / Getty Images

From vegetable gardens to new trees, you’ll need to account for multiple costs when it comes to mulch. Here are three factors that go into mulching prices.


Mulch costs between $30 and $150 per cubic foot. Organic mulch costs the most, but could be worth it if you live in a dry area where moisture retention is a major goal. More expensive raw materials like cedar or cypress will drive the price up on a cost-per-cubic-yard basis.


Mulch is typically delivered by truckload, per bag, or per scoop. Bulk deliveries will drive material costs down, but you'll pay more for labor.

Some vendors charge a fee for delivery, which starts at $160. Multiple trips may drive the price down, but paying at least $120 per truckload should be expected.


An additional fee of $0.20 per square foot could be charged for spreading the mulch. For 500 square feet, you might pay between $300 and $400 for materials and installation.

Cost to Install Mulch Yourself

Closeup of gloved hands spreading mulch in flowerbed
Photo: Maria Sbytova / Adobe Stock

Whether you’re winterizing your garden or planting spring flowers, you'll save around $0.20 per square foot by installing mulch yourself—perhaps more if you're spreading rubber mulch or a higher-end product. 

Installing mulch isn't that difficult, although if you're spreading a bulk amount, you may need access to wheelbarrows or even a pickup truck to spread large loads more easily. A rake and a shovel are the two main pieces of equipment you'll need.

Cost to Install Mulch Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

Saving $0.20 per square foot on mulch costs means you'll save about $20 per 100 feet on labor costs. A 50-by-10 garden bed, for example, would come out to roughly $100 in cost savings.

A local mulching company can give you an exact estimate on how much you might pay to use their services for spreading and/or delivery. 

2 Ways You Can Save Money When Installing Mulch 

Mulch adds color to your landscape, enhances soil, suppresses weeds, and improves plant health—but it can get expensive, especially if you’re mulching a large area. Here are two tips that’ll make your next mulching project more affordable.

1. Mix and Match Mulches

Mulches come in a variety of colors and styles. Opting for a higher-end organic mulch or alternative product, such as low-maintenance rubber mulch, might set you back a few extra dollars.

Instead, you might consider getting the same color mulch for smaller areas and mixing and matching. Use red or black hardwood mulch around trees or garden beds and the rubber kind for any sections that are purely aesthetic.

2. Lock in Rates Over Winter

Spring and early summer are the two most popular times for homeowners to order mulch. Prices may reflect current market demands, so shopping in early spring can help you save money. Some vendors will let you lock in your price for materials and installation if you purchase during winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

For landscaping purposes, shredded hardwood black and red mulch are the two best types. They last a few seasons, look nice in your yard, and are on the affordable end of the price spectrum ($40 or less per cubic yard).

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