How Much Does a Bag Of Mulch Weigh? (Scotts, Vigoro, etc…)

Mulch has skyrocketed in popularity in the past 20 years, as more people than ever are drawn to the manicured appearance and multiple benefits mulching can provide. As well as neatening up residential yards, commercial properties, and playgrounds, mulching your gardens and shrubs can protect your plants from extreme conditions, retain moisture, and in the case of organic mulch, even enhance the quality of your soil, as the mulch degrades over time.

Americans spend more than a whopping 1 billion dollars on mulch every year, and a good part of those sales are to ordinary homeowners who are doing their own landscaping.

If you’re eyeing your yard, planning new garden beds, or just want to spruce up your property, you may be wondering how labor intensive it will be to transport your mulch from your vehicle to your project area.

The following question may pop into your mind… How much does a bag of mulch weigh, anyhow?

We’ll cover the many different types of mulch, organic and inorganic, and break down the various weights of each into easy-to-read charts. You’ll be able to sort through the different sized bags of mulch to discover which one is a good fit for you.

We’ll also explain how mulch weight is affected by the elements, and how to calculate the number of bags needed for your project.

So, let’s dive right in, and get the scoop on mulch!

How Much Does a Bag of Mulch Weigh?

A bag of mulch can weigh anywhere from 11 lbs. for a bag of straw mulch, to 90 lbs. for a bag of rubber mulch. Several variables come into play that will affect the weight of a bag of mulch.

What Affects the Weight of a Bag of Mulch?

There are three main factors that affect the weight of a bag of mulch: the type of mulch, the size of the bag, and the condition of the mulch (wet vs. dry).

Let’s go into these in detail.

Type of Mulch

Mulch can either be organic or inorganic. Organic mulches include hardwood, cedar, cypress, or pine wood mulch, (including wood bark, shredded wood, and wood shavings), straw mulch, pine needles, hay, and leaf compost, to name the most popular.

Inorganic mulches are usually found in the form of rubber shreds or rubber nuggets, and various pebble and rock varieties.

Inorganic mulch of the types listed above always weigh more than organic mulch.

Size of the Bag

Mulch bags vary greatly in size, as well. The unit of measurement most commonly used on mulch bags is cubic feet, which is different than square feet.

A cubic foot measures 12 inches long x 12 inches wide x 12 inches deep. A square foot only measures length by width and does not include depth. To calculate how much mulch you’ll need for your project, you can go to the “How Do You Calculate” section below.

Mulch bags can commonly be found in the following sizes, depending on the material:  .5 cu ft, .8 cu ft, 1 cu ft, 2 cu ft, 2.3 cu ft, and 3 cu ft.

Generally, manufacturers will package heavier materials, such as rock mulch, in .5 cu ft or .8 cu ft bags. Rubber mulch is often packed in bags ranging from .5 cu ft – 1.5 cu ft, for the customers’ ease of transport.

Lighter mulch materials can have a range of sizes from 1.5 cu ft – 3 cu ft.

Wet vs. Dry

The other main factor in the weight of a bag of mulch is whether the material is wet or dry. This generally applies only to organic mulches, as they absorb water easily.

Although stores usually make an effort to shelter their bags of mulch from the elements, it’s very common to find entire pallets of mulch soaked through. Mulch bags are almost always manufactured with tiny holes in the plastic for air circulation, to slow the process of decomposition and fungus growth.

A wet bag of wood mulch can weigh more than double the weight of a dry bag.

Does the Color of the Mulch Affect the Weight?

Although mulch comes dyed in a range of colors – usually black, brown, or red – this does not affect the weight of the mulch.

How Much Does a Bag of Scotts Mulch Weigh?

Scotts Mulch ranges from 30 lbs. to 41 lbs. per bag, dry weight, and 40 to 80 lbs. for wet weight, with two main sizes commonly available to choose from. You may find more size variety in your local store.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced Mulch (2 cu ft) 41.2 lbs. 60 – 80 lbs.
Scotts Nature Scapes Color Enhanced Mulch (1.5 cu ft) 30 lbs. 40 – 60 lbs.
Earthgro by Scotts Color Advantage Mulch (2 cu ft) 40 lbs. 60 -80 lbs.
Earthgro by Scotts Color Advantage Mulch (1.5 cu ft) 30 lbs. 40 -60 lbs.
Hyponex by Scotts Responsibly Sourced Mulch (1.5 cu ft) 30 lbs 40 -60 lbs.

How Much Does a Bag of Vigoro Mulch Weigh?

Vigoro Mulch comes in organic and inorganic varieties. A bag of Vigoro Mulch can weigh from 34 lbs. to 85 lbs. for dry weight. Fully saturated, a standard 2 cu ft bag of Vigoro wood mulch weighs nearly 70 lbs.

In some stores, you can purchase a “super sack” of rubber mulch, which covers 75 cu ft and weighs over 3/4 ton.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
Vigoro Premium Wood Mulch (2 cu ft) 34 lbs. 45 -68 lbs.
Vigoro Premium Rubber Mulch (.8 cu ft) 40 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Premium Rubber Mulch (1.5 cu ft) 85 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Recycled Rubber Mulch (50 Bags Pallet Purchase) 2040 lbs. (incl. pallet) N/A
Vigoro Black Rubber Nugget Mulch Super Sack (75 cu ft)                         1700 lbs. N/A

How Much Does a Bag of NuScape Rubber Mulch Weigh?

A bag of NuScape rubber mulch weighs approximately 21 lbs.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
NuScape Rubber Mulch Nuggets (.8 cu ft)) 20.8 lbs. N/A

How Much Does a Bag of Timberline Mulch Weigh?

A bag of Timberline Mulch can weigh from 21 – 38 lbs., dry weight, and 40 – 75 lbs. when wet. Typically, you’ll find Timberline Mulch packaged in 2 cu ft bags.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
Timberline Natural Pine Bark Nuggets (2 cu ft) 21 lbs. 30 – 40 lbs.
Timberline Pine Bark Mini Nuggets (2 cu ft) 21 lbs 30 – 40 lbs.
Timberline Pine Bark Mulch (2 cu ft) 30 lbs 40 – 60 lbs.
Timberline Hardwood Bark Mulch (2 cu ft) 38 lbs. 55 – 75 lbs.
Timberline Red Mulch (2 cu ft)                       38 lbs. 55 – 75 lbs.

How Much Does Straw Mulch Weight?

Straw and pine straw mulch are one of the lightest mulches you’ll find, ranging from 11 – 25 lbs. per bag. Even when thoroughly wet, it doesn’t absorb as much water as wood mulch. Wet weights will generally range from 35 – 50 lbs.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
CleanStraw Natural Pine Needles Mulch (2.3 cu ft) 23 lbs. 35 – 45 lbs.
Vigoro Long Leaf Pine Straw (2.3 cu ft) 20 lbs. 30 – 40 lbs.
Pennington Premium Longleaf Pine Straw (2.3 cu ft) 25 lbs. 40 – 50 lbs.
Rhino Seed & Landscaping Supply EZStraw (1 cu ft) 11 lbs. 18 – 22 lbs.

How Much Does Rock Mulch Weigh?

Rock mulch is packaged in smaller bags because it is very heavy. Although water doesn’t play into the weight of rock mulch, you’ll still see a range of weights due to both the density (lava rock vs. marble, etc.) and various bag sizes. Weights range from 18 – 50 lbs. for the major brands you’ll find in Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Mulch Product Dry Weight Wet Weight
Vigoro Decorative Stone Red Lava Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 18 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Marble Chip Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Mini Marble Chip Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 40 lbs. N/A
Vigoro River Pebble Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Pond Pebble Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 48 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Calico Stone Decorative Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs. N/A
Vigoro All Purpose Decorative Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 48 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Pea Gravel Pebble Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 48 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Creek Landscape Rock (.5 cu ft) 40 lbs. N/A
Vigoro Mexican Beach Pebble Landscape Rock (.4 cu ft) 32 lbs. N/A
Earthessentials by Quikrete Pea Gravel (.5 cu ft)                  50 lbs.                                                      N/A
Earthessentials by Quikrete White Marble Chips (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs N/A
Earthessentials by Quikrete River Rock (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs. N/A
Earthessentials by Quikrete Pond Pebbles (.5 cu ft) 50 lbs.                                               N/A

Does Mulch Weight Correlate with Mulch Coverage?

Don’t be fooled by thinking a heavier bag of mulch will necessarily cover more area. In some cases, it will – a heavier bag of dry wood mulch will cover more than a lighter bag of the same dry wood mulch, but be sure you’re comparing apples to apples, in both the mulch type and moisture content.

For instance, a 2 cubic foot bag of Timberline Red Mulch weighs 38 lbs, but it will cover the same area as a 2 cubic foot bag of Timberline Pine Bark nuggets, weighing only 21 lbs.

The composition of the wood (hardwood vs. pine), and the size of the shreds/nuggets affects the weight.

For this reason, it’s best to always judge by the volume (cubic feet), as opposed to the weight. You’ll find the cubic foot coverage listed on each bag of mulch.

How Do You Calculate the Correct Amount of Mulch to Buy?

To determine how many bags of mulch you’ll need for each project, start by calculating the square footage of your intended area.

For square or rectangular areas: square footage can be obtained by measuring the length by the width of the area (example 5 ft x 7 ft = 35 square feet)

For circular areas: square footage can be obtained by measuring the distance from the radius (center of the circle) to the edge of the circle, and multiplying that by itself, then taking the total and multiplying it by 3.14 (example radius 5 x radius 5 = 25 x 3.14 = 78.5 square feet)

Now you have the square footage, but you need to figure out the cubic feet, as that is how mulch is packaged. A cubic foot measures 12-inches long x 12-inches wide x 12-inches deep… but you don’t want your mulch to be 12-inches deep!

So, you’ll need to calculate what percentage of 12 inches your intended depth will be.

Mulch is generally laid between 1” and 3” deep. If you want your mulch 1” deep, you divide 1 by 12, for 2 inches deep, you divide 2 by 12, for 3” deep, divide 3 by 12… and so on.

1” deep = .083

2” deep = .167

3” deep = .25

Take that percentage and multiply it by your square footage, and now you have your cubic footage.

Example using a 2” depth: 35 sq ft x .167 = 5.84 cubic feet

Find the type of mulch you want and look at the bag sizes they offer. If you want to buy mulch in bags containing 2 cubic feet, divide your cubic foot figure above by 2, to see how many bags you’ll need.

5.84 divided by 2 = 2.92

So, you’ll need 3 bags, containing 2 cu ft each, to cover your area of 35 sq ft at a depth of 2”.

What if it’s a smaller bag? If the mulch you want is packaged in 1.5 cu ft bags, you would divide 5.84 by 1.5 = 3.89.  Which means you’d need 4 bags.

So, to recap:

1. Figure your square footage needed – width x length for rectangles, or radius x radius x 3.14 for circles.

2. Convert to cubic feet by dividing desired mulch depth by 12, then multiplying that figure by your square footage.

3. Decide what size bag you’re interested in (2 cu ft or 1.5 cu ft are common organic mulch bag sizes, while .8 or .5 are popular inorganic mulch bag sizes)

4. Divide your cubic foot figure by the bag size to see how many bags you need.

Beginner Tips for Installing Mulch

Installing mulch is easy to do yourself, and it can be quite rewarding once the job is done! If you’ve never worked with mulch before, take a moment to look over these beginner tips.

  • Be prepared with the following tools: gardening gloves, a shovel or pitchfork, and a wheelbarrow to transport bags across distances, if necessary.
  • Distribute the bags in small piles along your work area, then go back and spread them out with a rake or your gloved hands.
  • Never mulch too deeply as it can inhibit oxygen flow to the roots of plants. Aim for a depth of 2” to 3”.
  • Always leave some breathing room around the trunks of trees and stalks of plants. Mulch placed up against these surfaces can encourage rot, which could make your plants susceptible to disease.
  • Don’t place weed barrier landscape fabric or plastic beneath organic mulch. It is not necessary and will defeat the natural breakdown of the mulch into the dirt, which enhances soil as it transfers nutrients over time.

If you open your mulch and it seems to be infested with bugs, transfer the mulch to a black plastic trash bag, tie the top in a knot, and lay the bag in the hot sun for several hours. The heat will kill the bugs.