Viewing post #164745 by ButterflyChaser

You are viewing a single post made by ButterflyChaser in the thread called Free Mulch.
Apr 6, 2010 7:54 AM CST
Name: NancyAnn
Jonesboro Ark
I know many of us here are gardeners. Mulch is essential to gardening. You can transform a yard full of red clay to beautiful organic black gold by applying mulch every year or two. And you cut down on weeds too.

I garden on a grand scale. My entire yard is a botanical garden. I have no lawn, haven't owned a lawnmower in about 7 years. (Repeat after me: We don't need no stinkin' lawnmower!)

I discovered years ago that tree trimmers are all too eager to dump their wood chips here, and they're happy to do it for free! In my city, they have to pay $40 a truckload to dump at the landfill (where we can go get it for free). I've made friends with a few, so I have a never-ending supply. I have three commercial truckloads on the property now waiting to be spread.

And it's a myth that you can't apply fresh tree trimmings to your gardens. People have sworn to me that it will burn up my gardens. HA!!! I've not lost a single plant because of my fresh mulch. If you're only applying it 5 or 6 inches thick, you have nothing to worry about. If you're were going to put it on 2 ft thick, then you might. But 6 inches deep doesn't get hot enough or produce enough nitrogen to hurt your plants. I'm in the South where summers can be over 100 degrees. I apply fresh mulch anytime I have it on hand, including in the heat of summer.

You'll need a spot where a tree trimmer can dump a big load of mulch. We have a vacant lot so they sometimes dump me a dozen loads. Some of it will have time to biodegrade before I can get to it, but most of it will be used immediately.

When talking to a tree trimmer, make sure you tell him you want it for mulching your garden and ask him to bring you stuff that is not diseased or pest-infested. And ask if his blades are sharp. If his blades are dull, the mulch won't be finely chipped; it will be in long stringy strips that tangle up so badly in the pile that you can't pitchfork it out. Asplundh dumped a pile here one day and it was stringy that we had to get a bobcat and move the stuff to the burn pile.

Pine mulch is my absolute favorite mulch. The pine needles don't shred, but the bark does. The pine needles lie beautifully and really looks great in paths. And when it's fresh, ahhhhhh, it smells so good!

Bradford pear mulch is my next favorite. It has such a fruity scent. I can step outside and sniff the air and know immediately if the tree trimmer has dropped me a load.

And don't forget to thank your tree trimmer every now and then with a case of beer (if they're of age) or with produce from the garden. That will keep 'em coming back year after year.

If there are no trimmers trimming in your area, check with your city landfill or recycling center. They often give away mulch for free. Ours has a backhoe and loads it too.


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