Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kids, this is why you need to study math in school

So after a week of daily rains, it finally stopped raining today! Yay! I headed to the store to buy mulch for the walkways in my garden. All this rain is making the weeds go crazy in the garden and I have to get it in shape before the end of the month and big planting time.

I tried to carefully calculate how much mulch I'd need to buy to cover only the walkways. Using my written garden plan, I figured that I have 192 square feet of walkways in my garden. I did a google search to find a formula to help me figure out how much mulch I'd need to cover an area that big with 3 inches of mulch. The formula was something like (192 X 3) / 324 = no. of cubic yards of mulch. Based on that info, I figured I needed 1.77777 or about 1 3/4 cubic yards of mulch. OK. Simple enough, right? My problem came when I got to the store. Because I'm planning to transport it in my minivan and I want to use it today, I don't want to buy it in bulk and have it delivered. I just want to buy the bags of mulch and do it myself. Well. The bags contain 2 cubic FEET of mulch. On the spot in the crowded store I had to convert cubic yards to cubic feet. Now, I am pretty good at math, but it is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. I haven't had to figure something like this for a long time. I figured each bag = 2 cubic feet so 3 bags would equal 1 cubic yard, right? If I needed 1.75 cubic yards, 5 bags should be about what I need, right? Wrong. Here's how my 5 bags looked after I spread them on the walkways in my garden:

Obviously I miscalculated and vastly underestimated the amount of mulch I'd need. Based on the coverage of these 5 bags, I think I need 9 more bags for a total of 14 bags. I give up trying to calculate the number of cubic yards.

Anyway, what I did was put down several layers of newspaper pulled from the recycling bins and I covered that with about 3 inches of mulch. This hardwood mulch is only for the walkways since it isn't good to have it so near the vegetables. I plan to use grass clippings to mulch the vegetables just like last year. The one corner I did finish looks pretty good. The empty bed in the middle is where I plan to plant some sweet corn and sweet bell peppers.

And take a look at one of my chive plants. Isn't it beautiful?

Today's local weather:
High temp: 64 F
Low temp: 50 F
Mostly cloudy

1 comment:

mathmom said...

1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet. 1 yard x 1 yard x 1 yard = 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft = 27 ft^3

good save with the newspaper :)