How Long Can Bags of Mulch Sit in Your Driveway?

Regardless of what kinds of plants and vegetables you’re keeping, you’ll need good mulch to help the plants grow and thrive. Mulch delivery companies often deliver bags of this beneficial organic mixture to driveways. Now, since you might not use this mulch immediately, how long can they sit in your driveway without going bad?

Bags of mulch can sit in your driveway for 1 to 2 days before going bad. The mulch will also absorb ambient moisture if you leave it out for much longer, resulting in unsavory stains on the concrete. Therefore, I recommend you only order mulch when you need it for your garden.

I’ve been gardening for a long time, and I understand that some aspects of mulching can be pretty stressful for amateurs and experienced gardeners. In this article, I’ll explain the best place to store bags of mulch, how to remove mulch stains from concrete, and how long you can keep bagged mulch before it goes bad. Keep reading to learn more about long-term mulch storage.

How Long Can You Keep Bagged Mulch? (PAA)

I made several mistakes when I first started gardening and mulching—just like everyone else—and I’ve lost my fair share of mulch over the years. However, I’ve learned more about mulching and mulch storage that I’d like to share with new and experienced. For example, how long can bagged mulch last?

You can keep bagged mulch for about three to six months before decomposing. After all, the most popular mulch is mainly organic materials like straw, grass clippings, wood chips, and chopped leaves which will undergo anaerobic decomposition in a limited air supply. 

Anaerobic decomposition happens when bacteria, fungi, and other microbes break down organic matter in environments with little oxygen. The bags mulch comes in are great for transporting the material but will accelerate its decomposition if you leave it unattended.

Therefore, while the mulch can last much longer in ideal storage conditions, it’ll only stay viable for a few months if you leave them bagged. Anaerobic decomposition is also responsible for the unpleasant smells bags of mulch emit.

You can check out my article to learn how long a sealed bag of mulch stays usable as well as other relevant information about bagged mulch: How Long Is An Unopened Bag Of Mulch Good For?

Where Can You Leave Bags of Mulch?

Bagged mulch has become a thing in recent years, and some companies have created ready-to-use mulch that you can immediately deposit in your garden. However, while transportation and deliveries are mostly efficient today, short-term storage can be a big problem—especially if your garden is in your backyard.

And since trucks can’t get into this space, it’s become common for delivery companies to leave the mulch in your driveway.

So, where can you leave bags of mulch?

Well, the best place to leave bags of mulch is your driveway. It’s an excellent spot for short-term storage and helps make mulch deliveries better, safer, and faster.

It’s also easier for delivery companies to offload your mulch there—and you can be sure there’ll be no risk of damage to your plants or other private property.

However, you’ll still need to sign some legal documents that absolve your mulch delivery company of any damage they may cause to your home or driveway.

However, you can’t leave your mulch on your driveway for very long. If it rains while the mulch is in your driveway, the dyes in the material will stain the concrete underneath.

Therefore, you’ll need to start transferring the mulch to a cool, suitable place as soon as it’s delivered.

Remember to offload it on tarps to avoid severe stains on your driveway concrete. I also recommend covering the mulch with another tarp to protect it if you suspect it’ll sit in your driveway for longer.

You can also check weather forecasts before choosing a delivery date. You can reschedule the mulch delivery date if you suspect it might rain a day before or after delivery. Remember to communicate with your retailer as much as possible to work out a convenient schedule.

How To Remove Mulch Stains From Your Driveway

Fortunately, while it can be pretty distressing to see stains in your driveway, there are several methods you can try to clean the concrete. These methods are inexpensive and easy, but I recommend following some simple steps to get excellent results. You’ll also get most of the stain out if you clean the driveway as soon as possible. 

Here are a few ways you can remove mulch stains from your driveway:

  • Use soap and vinegar to clean the concrete.
  • Clean the driveway with a mix of bleach and water.
  • Use alternative off-the-shelf cleaning agents.

Contrary to popular belief, power washing does not help to remove mulch stains from driveways. All it does is drive the stain deeper into the concrete. Therefore, I recommend you focus on hand-scrubbing using any of the methods mentioned above.

Now, let’s examine how to use these methods correctly.

Use Soap and Vinegar To Clean the Concrete

Soap and vinegar are great for removing almost all stains on your driveway. However, I don’t recommend dumping soap and pouring vinegar afterward if you want excellent results. You’ll need to take the necessary steps to get a clean driveway.

Here’s how to clean your driveway using soap and vinegar:

  1. Gather all the materials you’ll need to clean the concrete. Handwashing detergent, a bottle of vinegar, a brush, and a bucket will do. However, ensure you have a faucet or hose nearby for water.
  2. Mix the detergent with some water and make some lather. Ensure you don’t put too much soap in the water so you don’t waste the material. A scoop or two should suffice, but you can add some more depending on how severe the stain is.
  3. Scrub the concrete in circular motions using the brush and soapy water. You don’t need to scrub too hard if the stains are light, and you can get on your hands and knees to make the work easier. You might also need to wear gloves during this process.
  4. Rinse the area with some water and scrub with the vinegar mix. I recommend you make a mix of equal parts water and vinegar for excellent results. You can clean with the vinegar mix just as you did with soapy water, but remember to use gloves when working. 
  5. Hose the area to remove the lather, vinegar, and leftover stains. You might need to rinse and scrub a few more times, but you’ll know when the driveway is clean. 

It doesn’t matter what type of soap you use. Most soaps you can find in grocery stores will do the trick.

However, ensure you don’t mix soap and vinegar when cleaning. It might seem like a quick way to clean the concrete, but you’ll only be wasting both products.

Vinegar is acidic, and all soaps are basic. Therefore, mixing these products will neutralize their cleaning effects on your driveway.

Clean the Driveway With a Mix of Bleach and Water

You can also use a mix of bleach and water to clean the driveway. This method might not be sufficient for most situations, so I recommend using it if you have light stains. Bleach can be pretty potent, so use the necessary safety tools when handling the liquid.

Here’s how you can clean the driveway with a mix of bleach and water:

  1. Mix two or three capfuls of bleach with a bucket of water.
  2. Pour the mixture into your driveway and let it sit for about a half hour.
  3. Scrub the concrete lightly using a stiff-bristled brush.
  4. Rinse the driveway with a hose or a bucket of water.

It might take a while to notice any positive results, but it should remove many of the mulch stains from your driveway.

Use Alternative Off-the-Shelf Cleaning Agents

Now, while soap and vinegar should work for most situations, you can also use special cleaning solutions for your driveway. These work like soaps but have more potent compounds to eliminate stubborn stains.

They’re also great for surfaces and require little effort for excellent results. However, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use them correctly.

How To Store Mulch for Long Periods

Long-term mulch storage is pretty much as necessary as short-term storage, and you need to know how to preserve the material if you have some left over after use. However, you can’t store the mulch as you would if you’ll need it in a day or two. After all, decomposition is a severe problem that you’ll need to consider.

Here are a few ways you can store mulch for prolonged periods:

  • Store the mulch in its original bag.
  • Spread it in a pile.
  • Keep the mulch in plastic containers.

These three methods can help you store your mulch for up to three months—way longer than if you just let it sit in a driveway. They’ll also prevent stains and unnecessary cleaning afterward.

You can learn more about how to store mulch by checking out my guide on storing mulch. In it, I also highlighted why storing mulch in garbage bags can be a terrible idea: Can You Store Extra Mulch In Garbage Bags?

Final Thoughts

You can store bags of mulch in your driveway for a few days, but you should move it to a more suitable spot afterward. The material will stain the concrete if it remains on your driveway for more than two days, but you can easily remove it.

Still, removing stains from your driveway can be tricky. I included handy tips for cleaning the driveway in this article. Remember to use all the necessary safety equipment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re using off-the-shelf products.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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