Mulch can be one of the greatest assets available for your garden, it can be used in the garden beds to suppress weeds and to create wonderful rich soil with tons of nutrients for your plants. It is also great to use in your garden pathways and around trees and shrubs. I also like to use it just to add more curb appeal to my landscaping by putting it around my house and sidewalks in shady areas where not much will grow.
All in all, mulch is a wonderful resource to have but where do you get an abundance of it without breaking the bank. Mulch can be attained for free or at a very low cost from many sources, many of which will even deliver it right to your property, You just need to know where to look.
Here are a few possible resources for free mulch for your homestead.
1. Tree Trimming Companies
This is the first place to start looking because many times it involves free delivery and saves you the agony of going and getting it and shoveling it yourself. Many tree trimming companies are looking for places to drop off their shredded tree limbs because it saves space at their property.
You can make a list of companies from a phone book or local internet search and give them a call or one of the best ways is to wait until you see one working close to your property and just stop and ask them. They are the ones already working in your area so they won’t have to go out of their way to drop it off to you.
A great possible resource I found is the website ChipDrop. This is a directory for people who are looking for free mulch and companies who are looking to dump it off. I don’t know how large this directory is but I think it’s a great idea and the more people who register and use it the better it will become, so go and check it out.
2. Power Companies
Your local power companies have crews that do nothing but go around and cut back tree limbs from the power lines. They are not in the business of storing mulch like tree trimming companies so they are looking for someplace to dump it. Why this might be my second choice rather than first is because unless you live close to a power company that has one of these crews it may be harder to get because they seem to travel a bit further and cover a much larger area, but certainly worth making a phone call to find out. Again stopping and talking to these guys when you see them out is a great way to get information.
3. County Highway Departments
This has been my go-to for many years but mainly because I use to work for my local highway department. They usually won’t deliver but if you have a truck they have the free mulch. My Highway Department will even use their loader to fill my truck but they may not all do this. Why I like this option mainly is because your tax dollars are what makes the highway departments function, so in one sense you have already paid for this mulch so you should take advantage of it.
4. Leaf Mulch
One of the best mulches you can get is chopped-up leaves. You can usually get all you want of this resource in the fall from all your neighbors. The funny thing is they will even make it easy for you by bagging it up and sitting it on the curb.
This option is great especially if you have a small chipper shredder you can use to chop up the leaves but even if you don’t you can just pile them up in a long, not very tall pile and run over them with a lawnmower. This option is a little more work and the mulch breaks down faster than wood chip mulches but it’s great for the soil and keeps all those bags of leaves out of the landfill and put to better use.
5. Grass Clippings
Don’t overlook the most simple of mulches like those common grass clipping. This makes a great mulch and is easy to grab if you have a bagger on your lawnmower. Even if you can’t grab it yourself you probably know someone who does and bags it up.
This is one option though that I would be careful about not getting from just anywhere, you want to know the lawn care practices of the people you are getting this mulch from. If they use any chemicals on their lawn at all then you want to avoid that source. Make sure you are getting organic grass clippings, I feel like I can’t stress this enough. If the lawn was sprayed with some sort of broadleaf killer it very well could kill your garden, so be careful.
There you have it, a few possible options for free mulch for your homestead. Hopefully, this helps to provide you with great soil and a healthy garden and oh yeah, a few extra bucks in your pocket because you didn’t have to spend it on that store-bought mulch.
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