How to Make Mulch
Learning how to make mulch provides you with ways to recycle organic material that comes out of your house or is waste from your kitchen.
Mulches are great for putting nutrients back in the soil every year to ensure your plants are healthy and the soil gives them what they need to grow.
It will be cheaper to make your own than buy it from a garden centre.
Making mulch also gives you somewhere to put waste from your garden such as lawn cuttings and leaves.
- Make an assessment as to how much mulch you are going to need. To do this you need to determine the size of your flowerbeds and estimate the square footage multiplied by the depth of several inches. It does not have to be an accurate assessment, an approximation will do.
- Choose a corner of your garden or yard where you can keep your mulch stored in a pile. Be sure that there are no plants or bulbs in that area that will try to grow in the spring, and be aware that the mulch pile will likely kill anything underneath it such as grass.
- The best time of year to start building your mulch pile is in the fall. The fall is also the time of year where you get loads of fallen leaves that you can rake up and use to make mulch. It’s good if you can chop the leaves with your mower. So if you can mow the lawn in the fall you’ll get a mixture of leaves and grass clippings mixed together and all chopped up to add to your pile. If your mower doesn’t have a collection box you can rake it all up and put it on a tarpaulin to drag to the pile.
- Any fallen branches will make good wood chippings to use for mulch. If you haven’t got a wood chipper you can likely hire one from your local tool rental store if you have enough branches to warrant paying to hire a chipper for the day. If you have branches from different types of trees the chippings may be different shades. You can keep the chippings separate to make use of the different colour decoratively, or just mix them all up together if colour doesn’t matter.
- Try not to let the mulch decompose before using it. You are not making compost and therefore do not want it to decompose.
- Plant your plants, flowers, shrubs, water them very well, and put the leaf mulch on the soil around them. At the base of your trees and shrubs you can spread the wood chippings mulch.
- As time goes by, your garden mulches will decompose. Replace the mulch with fresh as it starts to disappear or decompose, or just top it up now and again.