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Thursday, January 1, 2015

An Unlimmeted Source of Mulch?

I can envision a nice layer of mulch around these trees -
perhaps contained by a decorative border.
Can it be? Do dreams really do come true?  The 'Boro collects leaves, tree trimmings, and trims trees along the highways and byways - and turns it all into mulch - which is made available for free, yes, free to the residents.  AND, it is right on the way home from work.  Somehow, I am envisioning stopping by there every Friday on the way home, to load up my truck with wonderful stuff.  True, I cannot immediately use it for filling garden beds; however, I can see garden pathways 10 or more inches deep with mulch - the bottom layers composting in place and turning into worm-filled soil.  And alternating chicken pens being topped off with mulch to increase sanitation, and, again, to produce more soil.  And thick walking trails of mulch (first swept and cleared of Evil Thorns) through our little forest.  Besides becoming lovely pathways or chicken run flooring, or garden and fruit tree mulching - they become part of the solution to too much water.  (Ah, ironic that just a few short years ago I was pining for rain...)

I had been thinking of purchasing a chipper for my husband for his birthday, but I was reluctant, because I really want those one inch weed saplings and branches to build trellises and tomato cages in my garden - I didn't want to use such a valuable resource to make mulch.  I hemmed and hawed and finally decided that we just were not going to be able to afford it this year.  We could afford a really good chain saw or a chipper.  Chain saw won.  Not that buying a chain saw isn't exciting (I eventually want a lightweight one for my very own), but I was feeling a little blue about not being able to make my own mulch, and certainly not being able to afford buying as much commercial mulch as I need to enhance 3 or so acres.  But, as I've said before, I am amazingly blessed, and the right thing always presents itself when I need it most.  As our daughters remind me, dreams do come true.

When one considers just how many raised beds that I will eventually need,
then one might understand the joy at finding an unlimited, free supply of glorious mulch.
For each raised bed
  • Thick layer of cardboard, shredded bills, 
    waste paper on the very bottom to smother existing vegetation
  • 5" of mulch on top of the cardboard and paper
  • 15" of dirt (some of it from the excavated paths)
  • 2" of mulch on the top of the bed
  • 15" of mulch in the path
I will do the math when I actually have a garden plan, but even for one 3 ft long bed with a path on one side, one can see that I will need more than just a few bags of mulch from Lowes.   And, yes, yes, I have a tractor to help me do this.  Happy New Year - and - Let the dreaming begin!

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