BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) Mulch

Autumn_Splendor Cindy Kerschner photo
Fall is the perfect time to score some free mulch. But remember its BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag).
You just need to know where to look.
Leaves
Collect leaves from curbsides, parks or private industries. Many businesses will be glad to have their leaves taken away for free. Shred or compost the leaves and mulch as usual.
If you have acid loving plants, try using pine needles. Inquire about pine needles at Christmas tree farms or nurseries.
Sawdust and shavings from lumberyards or construction sites can be used for non-food plants. These by-products may contain traces of chemicals from pressure-treated lumber and should not be used around fruit, herbs or vegetables. Compost separately and completely before using. Using raw sawdust would cause severe nutrient deficiencies, or death, in many plants.
Stone
Stone and pebbles can be used in your garden and container plants. Many times landscapers would rather not haul small extra amounts away from construction sites.
Hay and Straw
Check with farms and roadside stands where you can pick your own berries for their used hay or straw.
Autumn displays often use corn stalks and straw bales for accent decorations. Corn cobs can be chopped and used as mulch or in your compost bin
Some communities have drop-off lawn waste centers; most of which will have shredded materials available for you.

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