Mulch can prove very beneficial to our garden if we use it in the right way. However, mulch often costs a lot, depending on your location and the place you’ll buy it. Sometimes, we don’t need the entire quantity of mulch that we buy, which means a lot of it goes to waste.
However, that’s not really necessary. As a matter of fact, there’re as many as 17 ways to get free mulch near you. Yes, that’s right. You can get some free mulch nearby for free if you need it for a small garden of your home.
For those who don’t know, I will explain what’s mulch and its uses.
Mulch & Its Uses
In simple words, mulch is a type of organic covering that blends with the soil and serves as a covering against weeds. Spreading mulch in your garden can prevent weeds from growing. However, it won’t stop weeds that already exist.
Mulch is environment-friendly. It’s made of fallen leaves, newspapers, grass, twigs and straw as well as the bark of trees, in some cases. The type of mulch to use usually depends on your location and what you are growing.
There’re two types of mulch:
Made of grass, fallen leaves and twigs, barks and foliage, straw and other natural material. In some cases, you can also use compost, an organic fertilizer, as mulch. This is the most common type of mulch you will come across in the USA.
A few people use inorganic mulch, but it’s quite rare. This consists of gravel, stone, seashells, marble chips and tile bits, among other stuff. This type of inorganic mulch is useful for gardens with specific types of herbs and plants that need stony or rough surfaces to sprout.
Using Mulch in Your Garden
Using mulch in your garden isn’t difficult or dangerous if you can handle a spade. You can simply spread it over the soil and leave it to settle. Organic mulch also fertilizes the soil as it decomposes due to the action of bacteria and other microbes over a period of time. This provides your plants with healthier soil to grow.
Alternatively, you can also enlist the services of a neighbour or friend that’s adept at gardening or hire a professional gardener. You can find professional gardeners on an hourly basis on apps such as TaskRabbit, among others. However, most people spread mulch in their gardens since it’s simple and easy.
17 Ways to Get Free Mulch Near You
So, here’re the best 17 ways to get free mulch for your garden. You can try any or all of these ways when necessary. Mulch isn’t really expensive. However, getting it free could help save a few dollars on your monthly bills.
1. Facebook Marketplace
This might sound unbelievable: a lot of people offer free mulch on Facebook Marketplace. That’s because they produce a lot of mulch as part of individual or community projects and wish to encourage its use among other citizens.
2. Gardening Forums
There’re countless forums and groups on gardening in the US. Most of them have a Facebook page. With some searching, you could easily find a gardening group in your area on Facebook.
Of course, they may be a private and closed group, but you can always apply for their membership through your Facebook page. These gardening groups have tips and tweaks to find free mulch in your neighbourhood.
There’s no classifieds website bigger and more extensive than Craigslist in the US. Try searching on Craigslist for persons and companies or farms giving away free mulch.
There would be several since mulch is usually produced in bulk and such vast volumes aren’t really necessary for gardeners or even for farms. You could also try posting your own classifieds for free on Craigslist, asking for free mulch.
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The US Department of Agriculture has several programs aimed at promoting soil health. This includes grants to states for promoting composting. Check on the USDA website and that of your state’s own Department of Agriculture to see if they have any programs in your region offering free compost and mulch. New York City gives away free compost.
5. Schools Campuses
School campuses with gardens usually make their own mulch, sometimes with the help of students or as projects. Ask any local school that has a garden if they produce any mulch. They might offer some for free.
6. Organic Farms
A lot of universities and colleges source their food for students from organic farms nearby. If there’re any such colleges and universities near your place, check where they buy their fresh produce. Those farms could be a superb source of mulch for you regularly.
7. City Administrations
Often, city admins have mulch they use in public gardens. Sometimes, you might see it dumped in gardens, waiting to be spread. Now, it is an offence to take away some without permission since it’s state property. However, you can request an official at the park or the city admin to give some free.
Chipdrop.com will give you as much mulch as you need for free. But you need to take your car or truck to haul it away to your garden. Check their website, www.getchipdrop.com, for further details. They work at most locations in the US and can be a good source for your mulch supplies.
This is a superb website for regular and unlimited mulch supplies. Getting free mulch here is as simple as signing up at this link. As a matter of fact, this organization will deliver free mulch right to your doorstep.
One more online place to find free mulch is OfferUp.com. Actually, this is a website for classified ads that compare well with Craigslist. You can find a few listings offering free mulch here. Or, you can create your own listing and ask for free mulch in your area.
11. Ask Neighbors
Check with your neighbours if they’ve some mulch and can give you some. Most likely, they will. That’s because mulch is easy to make and free. It can be made with almost everything from grass clippings to fallen leaves and weeds.
12. Save a Tree
If you find a felled tree nearby, you can make mulch from it. However, this needs some effort since you’ll have to chop it and chip the bark into small-sized bits for use as mulch.
Freecycle.org isn’t about gardening. Instead, it’s a website that helps people recycle stuff or find resources for recycling. You can find some mulch from those who wish to recycle grass clippings, leaves and other motley stuff.
14. Old Newspapers
Maybe you’re unaware that old newspapers can also serve as mulch, by themselves or in combination with twigs, leaves and pine cones, among other stuff. If you don’t have old newspapers, ask any scrapyard or recycler near you for a few.
15. Landscaping Companies
Most landscaping companies will provide free mulch on request if they’re on some project in your area. Or, you would have to go to their location and get some mulch.
Do-it-Yourself or DIY is the best way to get free mulch. That’s because it can be made easily. It doesn’t need an expert to make mulch. All you need is some basic knowledge and a container.
17. US Forest Service
This is the best resource to get free material for mulch. Contact the US Forest Service office nearby and ask permission to gather free material for mulch from their land. You could team up with friends and neighbours to collect such mulch as part of a picnic.
To get the best out of free mulch, you’ll require some basic knowledge about using this natural product. You can find it on the USDA website and some excellent YouTube videos on gardening made by professionals. The best way to get free mulch is to make it yourself.