how much mulch do I need

How much mulch do I need?  This chart will help you take the guesswork out of getting your order right.

You can also use this chart to check the math if you are looking at a bid from your landscaper


Cubic Yards Needed for Depth of Mulch

Square Footage
























43,560 (1 acre)




Here are some Bay Friendly Landscaping tips on munching:

• Apply a layer that settles to 2-4 inches deep. This is the best general application rate, especially for use in planting beds. Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes require a minimum of 3 inches of coarse mulch.

• Fine Mulch: Apply no more than 2 inches. Thin layers of fine mulch (particle size of half inch or less) are less likely to impede air and water. Fine mulches decompose more quickly and need to be replenished more often than coarse textured woody mulches.

• Coarse Mulch: Use 4-6 inches or more to control weeds in open spaces. Coarse mulch is best for weed control; it prevents annual weed seeds from gerninating. Weeds that do sprout are easier to remove. For maximum weed control, replenish mulch once a year.

• You can have too much of a good thing: Use lesser amounts on poorly drained soils.

• Keep mulch on top of the soil to prevent tying up nitrogen. Woody material that is incorporated into the soil will temporarily inhibit the soil’s ability to supply nitrogen to the plants. However, according to research, mulch only uses nitrogen at the soil surface, and not from the root zone. If you do not turn mulch into the soil, you’ll prevent nitrogen drag.

Mulch will very quickly make the landscape look more refined.  It saves water by reducing evaporation due to direct sunlight.  As it breaks down, it help build a healthy soil structure.  This is key in the Bay Area.


Of course, if you need a professional to apply mulch to your commercial property or HOA, please Call Cleary Bros to get a free estimate.

100 ways to save water

Here is a great resource on water saving tips: Click the image below to go to this great website 100+ Ways to Conserve Water


100 ways to save water

one hundred ways to save water




There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.


When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.


Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.


If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.

[Read more…]

California Drought 2015

This is from Matt Weiser of the Sacramento Bee:


collecting snow california

Collecting Snow california

“The latest survey of California’s mountain snowpack on Thursday brought the bad news slamming home: This month will rank as the driest January in state history at many locations, virtually assuring a fourth straight year of drought.

On Thursday, the statewide snowpack was 25 percent of normal for the date. The northern Sierra Nevada – a region crucial to statewide freshwater supplies – holds the lowest January snowpack ever recorded.

Mike Anderson, a climatologist employed by the California Department of Water Resources, did not waffle when asked what this means for the state.

“It will be continuing with drought conditions,” Anderson said. “We haven’t historically seen a change in February, March and April – after a dry January – that would give sufficient conditions to erase the drought.”

Sacramento, with weather records dating to the 1870s, also recorded its driest January in history. Other locations with that dubious distinction include Blue Canyon, at 4,700 feet in the Sierra Nevada along Interstate 80, the town of Paradise in Butte County, as well as Stockton, Modesto, Sonora and Redding.

Average January rainfall for Sacramento is 3.97 inches. The only measurable rain Sacramento received in January came on the 19th, and that measured just 0.01 inches. Aside from that, the weather tap essentially turned off on Christmas Eve.

The month lasts through Saturday, but no storms are forecast that would change the local outlook. The weekend ahead is predicted to be sunny, with temperatures exceeding 65 degrees in Sacramento and other locations.

Winter began with a promising series of wet storms in December. But these storms were warm, so they didn’t deposit a lot of snow in the mountains. They did produce a lot of runoff, and the state’s major reservoirs were able to capture much of it.

As a result, reservoir storage in Northern California, while still well below average, is better than at this time last year. This will not prevent a fourth drought year, but it will help ease the pain. DWR, for example, recently indicated it would be able to provide 15 percent of normal water deliveries to its customers on the State Water Project, including Los Angeles and the Silicon Valley. That’s better than the zero percent offered last year.

Folsom Reservoir in the Sacramento region, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is one of those that benefited. It contains about twice as much water as it did this time last year. This will help the Sacramento region get through 2015. But without more storms this winter, the reservoir will be severely depleted by fall.

Tom Gohring, executive director of the Sacramento Water Forum, a coalition of local water agencies and environmental groups, said water agencies will keep the pressure on for conservation. But he worries public attention will wane.

“At this time last year, we were all looking at Folsom being lower than we’ve seen it in decades and I think it made a huge impact,” said Gohring. “The reservoir isn’t that low now, so people aren’t seeing that signal. I wish we could get a message out to say we’re not out of the woods.”

Although December was wet, the storm track took a detour right after Christmas because of El Niño. El Niño is used to describe conditions when the equatorial Pacific Ocean warms up, causing global shifts in weather patterns. It can cause wet winters in California, so hopes were high when an El Niño was predicted last spring.

But this El Niño proved mild. And a mild El Niño often causes the winter storm track headed toward California to split in two, with storms directed toward Mexico and the Pacific Northwest, bypassing California. That’s exactly what happened this month, said Anderson.

“The split jet stream has kind of left us high and dry,” he said.

Climate change also may have played a role by diverting the polar jet stream, Anderson said. Because the temperature difference between the Arctic and the equator is not as great as it once was, the polar jet stream has a tendency to swing farther south. This causes two things: It contributes to brutal winter storms on the East Coast, and it also helps create a high-pressure ridge on the West Coast that diverts storms from California.

The drought has hurt winter tourism throughout the Sierra Nevada. At least three ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area closed within the past two weeks. It was the driest January ever at Tahoe City, which saw only 0.03 inches of rain during the month, said Chad Blanchard, the federal watermaster for the Truckee River.

Lake Tahoe itself shrank below its natural rim on Oct. 15, meaning water stopped flowing into the Truckee River, the giant lake’s only outlet. That condition has not reversed, and the lake is now almost 1 foot below its natural rim. Blanchard is hopeful weather conditions will improve during the two months of winter that remain.

“We have been in worse situations than this and still turned it around,” Blanchard said. “There’s still time.”

A long-range forecast issued Thursday provides some reason for hope. The Climate Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, predicts that Northern California is likely to be wetter than normal over the next two weeks.

January is normally the wettest month of the year in Northern California, Anderson said, and losing it entirely from the water supply picture is a big hit. For drought conditions to end, he said, California needs precipitation that is at least 150 percent of normal by the end of the water year on September 30, or 75 inches as measured in the northern Sierra. As of today, 23.1 inches have been recorded.”

Sheet Mulching

One great way to reduce water usage is to sheet mulch thirsty lawns. Sheet mulching is a process of taking an existing lawn and transitioning it to a mulched area that can be planted or left with mulch alone. Sheet mulching is eligible for large rebates for customers and can significantly reduce water usage in your landscape.


  • Turf conversion or reduction can dramatically reduce a property’s irrigation water consumption, leading to lower water bills.
  • Sheet mulching is “green” and environmentally responsible
  • EBMUD provides.50/sq.ft. subsidy up to a maximum of $20,000 per HOA.
  • Areas that are sheet mulched can be planted or left bare.
  • Most have lawn areas that get very little use and are prime candidates for sheet mulching.

Contact us for a consultation.

Sheet Mulching in progress

sheet mulching, laying down a layer of specialized cardboard material

Area to be sheet mulched in Danville CA

This thirsty lawn area is about to be converted to an attracitve low water landscape

A sheet mulched area in Danville

This are now uses 5% of the water that is used to use. Healthy soild for the trees, attractive, sustainable




Water Management 103 – Drip Irrigation

Water Management 103 - Drip Irrigation

First off, the team at Cleary Bros. Landscape would like to thank everyone who has been participating in the ceremonial rain dances as of late.  We’ve seen some much needed precipitation in the last month.  However, we are still in a serious state of drought and we can’t afford to relax yet.  In this, our 3rd installation of our Spring Water Management Series we would like to discuss drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation comes in many forms.  Most people are familiar with the small thin black tubing that weaves its way through the landscape, most of the time looking somewhat unruly.  Many of us in the industry call these thin lines spaghetti tubes.  This is just one example of drip irrigation that can be utilized in the landscape.

Other examples include 1/2 inch black poly tubing with emitters that are plugged into them.  Yet another example is a newer technology where the drip emitters are built into the tubing.  One brand that you may have heard of is Netafim Techline.

Converting a planter bed from an overhead spray system to a drip system can dramatically improve your landscape’s water efficiency while lowering your water bill.  Drip systems, when installed and maintained correctly, are the most efficient form of irrigation.  This is because the majority of the water put out is delivered to the root system of the plant material being watered.  With that in mind there are several benefits to converting to a drip system which include:

  • An overall reduction in water used to irrigate planter beds.
  • Less weed growth in planter beds.  This is due to the fact that you are not watering the entire bed but only the root zones of the plants.
  • Lower likelihood of damage to asphalt, fences, and walls that occurs from over spray.  Over spray from regular pop-ups in the landscape will almost always occur. By utilizing drip irrigation you can extend the life of your asphalt, fences, and siding.
  • Mulch will fade much slower in planter beds that have drip irrigation, this will lengthen the useful life of your bark and mulch.
  • Typical repairs to drip systems are less costly than spray systems.
  • EBMUD and other Water Districts are offering rebates to convert from spray to drip!  Consult your irrigation specialist because only certain types of drip systems will qualify.

[Read more…]

CACM 2015

We are looking forward to seeing you at the CACM seminar 2015
We are in Booth 815

Drop by, say Hi, and Win!



Matt Berry

See Matt Berry

Ferol Arce

See Ferol