Friday, April 30, 2010

Frugal Friday: Mulching the Yard

A couple of weeks ago we had our trees limbed up and one rotten elm removed. For this we hired professionals and thank goodness. Watching the tree guy swing about like a monkey while a running chainsaw dangled from his belt? Nerve wracking to say the least. I was quite glad Mr. Peculiar had not taken on this particular task. The work, however, was a budget buster in an already tight month.

As such I was bound and determined to somehow turn this expenditure into a frugal adventure. But how? Then, while picking up the kids, I had a light bulb moment. We were creating a plethora of bark chips. Perfect, I thought, for use as mulch and weed control. After all we'd hauled in playground chips last summer and they worked great.

I discussed the idea with Mr. Peculiar and, to be generous, he hated it. His plan was to have the tree guys chip the wood then haul it away. We would then go and buy new unblemished wood chips (a.k.a. minus the pine needles).

Brilliant. Let's spend money to put pine needle free wood chips under our pine trees. Because, you know, they will remain needle free for, oh I don't know, an hour?!! It's not as if I'd presented this idea without first doing a bit a research. As such I stood my ground.

Needless to say I won the argument but not without compromise. "Fine," said Mr. Peculiar, "you can keep your wood chips but I'm not helping you spread them."

"Fine," I retorted, perturbed but ready for the challenge. And I did it. I spread the entire load of bark ALL BY MYSELF -- thank you very much.

I got a great workout and our previous dirt/weed patch now looks like the forest floor rather than a dumping ground. It smells delectable and is very easy to maintain. Soon I hope to plant some additional fruit trees back there (the roots will be deep enough I'm not concerned about the nitrogen levels). But in the meantime it is perfect just how it is.

Now my frugal tip for you? You don't have to cut down trees to get bark mulch of your own. Simply call your local arborist -- more than likely they'd be willing to dump a load of chips for FREE. And then you, my friend, can develop strong arms and tight abs just like me.

Happy Frugal Friday!

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Things I'm loving today:
  • Friends bearing gifts (thanks Susan!)
  • Infinitely blue skies
  • Pulled pork in the slow cooker
  • A touch of me time before work
Things I'm hoping for today:
  • A spurt of energy to finish the dishes, bake and shower
  • An excellent start to the month of May (May Day everyone, May Day!)
  • Finding the perfect pair of inexpensive shoes to go with my old dress.
  • Finding an inexpensive pair of khakis for the boy.


*Michelle* said...

Oh, I want some free mulch! Do you really think you can just call & they'll deliver it? That would be almost too good to be true. I need it for my garden paths & my front flower bed.

Mr. Peculiar sounds like the man. *insert rolling eyes here*

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I wonder if there is a place here in town that would do that. I live in Las Vegas; most houses are less than 30 years old in the entire city. Also, most people don't have trees, and if they do, they're these thin, wispy trees that don't get very big.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I am constantly reading great stories about free mulch on people's blogs, but alas I have not ever found any sources.

But every time I read about it my hopes are up again. You have inspired to call around more... want free mulch! My yard is ginormous!


Shalet said...

I really do think you could find free mulch. It wouldn't hurt to call and ask!