Tag Archives: mulch

Mulching the Garden for Free

Bermuda grass in my flower beds is relentless.  I hate to admit it but the last few years it was so out of control I was embarrassed for anyone to see my flower beds.  This year I was determined to get rid of it or at least get it under control.  I prefer not to use the commonly used spray to eradicate Bermuda grass for reasons I won’t go into here but it was the only way I was going to stand a chance.

First, I used garden scissors to cut huge amounts of the offensive grass out of the beds so I could at least see the ground that it was covering.  Second, I sprayed the base of the grass as close to the ground as I could get it.  The final and very important step was to cover the ground with thick layers of mulch.

Here is were the frugal part comes in.  I had a load of wood chips delivered for free from a tree trimming company that was looking for a dump site.  I also acquired several bags of pine needles from a friend.  (Best part about that was I didn’t even have to rake and bag them myself.)  Additionally I picked up all the pine cones I could find and obtained a few pieces of used brick that was going to the dump from a construction site.

The pine needles and pine cones were used in one section of the flower bed.  The wood chips were used in another.  I partially buried sections of brick amongst the wood chips for a decorative effect and while the Bermuda grass might manage to come up through all that mulch,  I dare it to come up through that brick.

I have to admit there is still some grass in my flower beds but for the first time in several years I can enjoy my flower beds instead of feeling disgust at how bad they looked.  As an added benefit the mulch also helps hold in moisture which results in a less frequent need to water.

Thanks for reading.  Have a frugal day.




Keep Trees and Shrubs Alive During Drought and Harsh Temperatures


+The Old Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a drier and colder than usual winter.  We have already lost a lot of plants, trees, and shrubs due to the drought and extreme temperatures the past few years.  If you look closely at the photo above you can see where dead branches have been cut  out.  That was a result of the minus 20 degrees we had a few years back. Everything above the ground on these shrubs died but it came back from the roots.    Many of our shrubs did not make it and had to be replaced.  This year in order to protect our trees and shrubs I am starting now to cover the soil around them with mulch.  This will help keep the moisture in and protect the roots from extreme cold temperatures.  There are many types of mulch available at no cost such as leaves, grass clippings, wood chips etc.  Every time I see bags of leaves set out for the garbage truck to pick up I have to resist the urge to stop and take them home.  Fortunately I have a near endless supply of free wood chips. I will cover that in a later post. It isn’t too late to collect grass clippings this fall and I am sure you can get bags of leaves from friends or off the curb (but ask permission first).  Start getting ready now to keep your plants alive.