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OT - Creating mulch with zero dollars. pics

16 years ago

I usually mulch the gardens with compost I've made throughout the winter, but this past winter I didn't compost and of course, I'm lacking a poopload of mulch. Buying it is out of the question - $48.00 per yard, and then $35.00 for trucking. Up to five yards could be placed in a $35.00 trip, but still, it wouldn't do the job. Big dilemna. Their mulch is just shredded wood anyways which wouldn't feed my gardens as much as my compost does. Not fussy about the look of chunks of wood either.

Last week I was eyeballing all the bags of leaves I had brought home last fall, and nearby, my buckets full of used coffee grounds (UCGs) were beckoning me to take them to the compost pile. All of a sudden, I had a light bulb moment.

I took acouple of bags of leaves and one bag of pine needles and spread them on the lawn. Even though they were fairly dry, I let them dry a bit more. I removed the filters from my buckets of UCGs and flung the coffee on top of the leaves and needles. Then I took the leaf shredder and started sucking up this concoction. When I opened the shredder's bag and dumped the contents in the wheelbarrow. At this point I think my face looked like that of a kid in a candy store for the first time.

I did add a bucket of my compost and mixed it up with the shredded goodies. What good stuff!! Looks nice in the gardens too.

FYI - The shredder I use is a B&D Leaf Hog which cost under $100.00. I've had it for three years now and it still works like a charm. Sometimes I get seaweed from my neighbour's beach, let it dry, and suck that up in the shredder.

Just thought I'd share with my fellow WSers. Especially since some of you live in much warmer zones and mulching could be a benefit. :O) My goal is to feed the soil, keep the weeds down, see where I can plant this year's winter sown plants, and clean things up a bit for a garden tour in August.

Here's what's in the wheelbarrow after I'm finished.


Here's a section of the garden after clean-up and mulching. The Blue Morpho Pansies were introduced via winter sowing 3 years ago, Baptisia Australis in the back is starting to bloom - a fourth year for this winter sown plant - and the Asclepias Incarnata winter sown 3 years ago are to the left of the BA. You can also see a bit of the Heliopsis Lorraine Sunshine, also winter sown, on the right.


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