Mulch to a garden is like bugs to a chicken or grass to a cow, it keeps the garden happy and healthy with nutrients, plus holds moisture in the soil. But mulch and compost can be pricey if you try to buy it and it can take a while to accumulate enough organic materials to make your own.
One favorite way of accumulating a LOT of free mulch is by hitting up the power line crews that turn bothersome branches into nice wood chips. They are often more than happy to dump a load for you if they are working in your area, for free. You can catch them when they are taking a break or when you are passing them on the road. I have never had them say no. In fact last time, I had to tell them that, after three loads, we were good.
The very best time to get power line trimmings is in the late spring or early summer since the trees will have leaves, which adds nitrogen to the mix. You can use these chips to build a compost pile or mulch around trees, shrubs, or flowers. In the winter when there are no leaves the chips are often clean and are best used on paths and such, or let the leafless mix sit for a few months or a year and break down some on it’s own. One year we even used wood chips as insulation inside the pallets that form the walls of your chicken coop! Free stuff rocks!
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