Free For The Taking

As I’ve mentioned before, we have dirt that’s older than, well, dirt. It grows weeds at an amazing rate though, everything from dandelions (which my bunnies love) to evil prickly weed (which no one loves.) My manure ringed raised beds keep themselves nearly weed free, but my walking paths between the beds are inundated. To mulching we must go!
I started like so many, at the local nursery and bags of bark chips. Problem one, the cost. At a little over $4.50 for two cubic feet, and my calculating in the neighborhood of 100 cubic feet needed, bark gets crazy expensive. Problem two, bark chips are full of dye. Dye that leeches onto hands, clothing, soil. Neither natural nor sustainable.
Luckily, I still live close enough to a major city to take advantage of their free mulch program. In my area, they operate nearly a dozen such sites. You bring a shovel, containers and your own muscle. Take all you need as often as you like. Free! And this is first class stuff, delivered several times a week. You could see and feel the steam of organic decomposition happening, right from the pile.
I selected the West LA site, right off Jefferson. Don’t worry, links to the maps are coming after my post. I was a bit worried as I wandered into an industrial area. Rounding a corner though, clear signs and a most glorious pile.

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This one had just gotten a fresh delivery and, despite it being a beautiful spring day, I was alone in my work. The main pile was a good ten feet high and twice that across.

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I brought feed sacks with me, which worked wonderfully. Within twenty minutes, I had a dozen filled and loaded. I doubt I could have driven to the nursery, navigated the store, loaded 12 bark bags into a cart, found the registers, paid my $72 plus tax, located my truck and loaded my bags in twenty minutes!

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They rode home fine in the open air, and I’m anxious for morning to arrive. I want to spread this wonderful mixture throughout my garden, I know it’ll look amazing!

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Now for those in Los Angeles county –
Map of Free Mulch Sites
Flyer With Hours and Delivery Days

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