Taking Advantage of Free Mulch


With all the planting we’ve been doing around the yard we’ve also been buying a lot of bags of mulch. While I did pack up a couple bags of pine needles, that will not be enough to mulch everything we plant. And buying mulch gets expensive, but also isn’t so sustainable either. (Stay away from cypress mulch!) We had been buying some recycled mulch in bags that comes from the city of Houston but again, it is a bit more expensive than cedar (juniper) mulch. If we can, we try to source it in state too, such as the Texas Native mulch from the Austin Wood Recycling. But. It is still pricey when you add it all up.

A couple of weeks ago Chris called in one of our daily conversations and he found out that the city of Beaumont gives away free mulch to just about anyone on Saturday mornings. Since he is living in Beaumont at the moment for work this is convenient for him. No, I wouldn’t drive over there to get free mulch normally as it is two hours away from our house in greater Houston, but if it is available and he’s living there, why not?

We went through one load fairly quickly and didn’t even finish getting everything mulched. I went to visit him two weekends ago and decided I’d get a load and go back and get a load for him as well. I think we are caught up now though I know we’ll be wanting more eventually. So far we haven’t been able to source any locally which is a bit disappointing, but maybe we haven’t looked hard enough.

As you can see the mulch fills the back of my truck well. I had to brush some off and transfer a bit into Chris’ truck as I couldn’t fit the tarp over the top of the mulch while driving down the highway otherwise.

The downside to getting recycled mulch like this is that you will find pieces of trash within it, not a lot but you’ll have to pick stuff out, and you don’t know if any of the wood has been treated with any chemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers. The opposite of all of this is that you could be buying cypress mulch which is not a good idea. Even if there are some downsides to using the recycled mulch, at least the materials are not going into the landfill and are being utilized a second time around.

Have you had an experience with using recycled mulch?

Comments 2

  1. Donna wrote:

    Wow! Cool, I know Curtis gets some in Haltom City. Dad always gets bags of cedar for me. I would love some pine needles though. But he prefers cedar because of bugs.

    Posted 23 Nov 2012 at 1:47 pm
  2. Patrice wrote:

    This summer someone brought us free mulch for the BD grounds. I was elated and mulched the garden (though sparingly). Someone came by and was in horror that I did that without knowing where it came from. I really had no idea that it was that big of a deal. Should I not be using recycled mulch? My garden seemed to grow fine and we didn’t die in the process this year???

    Posted 17 Dec 2012 at 12:53 pm

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