It happens all the time. We purchase bags of soil, additives, or soil amendments for our flower or vegetable beds, bring them home, unload the car, lug the bags into the garden, pour and spread them on the beds. And then, lo and behold, we discover that the quantity we bought is not enough. Now the process must begin again.
Life is too short and our discretionary time too valuable to repeat any action unnecessarily. It would be more efficient if we had a guide to help us calculate, in advance, how many bags of garden product we need. One prominent nursery in Montreal, Jardins Jasmin, has posted such a guide online, but since their site is in French, I have translated their data as follows: - To cover a 10 feet by 10 feet area with 3 inches of garden product, based on standardized, retail-sized packaging, one will need 9 bags of top soil, or 9 bags of mulch or 23 bags of black earth. To lay grass over that same area, 10 rolls of sod are required.
This information has also been visualized by Greg Draiss who blogs at The Real Dirt on Gardening. In one of his blogs, he posted a YouTube video tutorial explaining how to calculate the amount of bags of soil, stone, bark, compost or mulch the gardener needs in order to spread a layer of garden product 3 inches deep This is a most useful guide for DIY gardeners. Hopefully, it will help to reduce the time allocated to buying and unloading. Click here to watch the video.
A measure of 3 inches is used because that is the minimum amount of mulch required to keep garden beds reasonably weed free. Spreading generous layers of any product is a far more efficient use of time and labor than spreading thin frugal layers. Not applying enough results in re applying again, sometimes immediately and often later in the season. Life is too short and too busy. Do it properly the first time round.