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Saving Money on Mulch

Category Mulch
Choosing the best place and time to buy mulch is one way to save money. This is a guide about saving money on mulch.


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By 3 found this helpful
November 3, 2010

Have you mulched your leaves yet? After spending years raking up those fall leaves, I got pretty tired of having a second set of leaves fall from the Oak trees. I decided to make short work of the job by using my mulch mower and ran the mower over the leaves, which mulched them all and enriched my lawn happily at the same time. The lawn may not be as neat and tidy, but it sure will be happy having all that extra fertilizer on it, and it will be even happier next spring, and so too will you! Go mulch those leaves!

Source: Gardeners around the globe

By karen from Davis, CA

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November 16, 20170 found this helpful
Top Comment

Hello !
The problem with using tree leaves is that some trees protect themselves from the concurrence of others trees or plants or from the concurrence of their own seeds that could root close to them. To avoid this they produce toxins which can be in their roots in their branches and in their leaves and will enter the soil to make it toxic for germination. One of the best at this is the walnut tree and others of its family like the Black walnut, pecan, hickory, Carya, Engelhardtia, Juglans, Platycarya, and Pterocarya.


The toxin produced is called juglone. I covered a very young palm tree with walnut tree leaves to protect it from frost and found it dead in the springtime. It is also advisable not to eat walnuts collected when their green skin has already started decomposing and rotting as the Penicillium mold which causes the decomposing produces a neurotoxin called Penitrem A, which is dangerous for human and livestock when juglone isn't.

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July 19, 2011

I broke away from using bagged mulch this year. I have three new sources for wood chip mulch: the local park service, the power company tree trimmers, and landscapers who cut down trees.

The Park Service (Montgomery County, Maryland) had too much mulch and generously delivered a dump truck's worth to an area our neighbors cleared of vines and overgrowth (near the Park Service operations center, so it was great for them, too).


Other neighbors phoned or went out to the power company tree trimmers while they were working in our area, and dumping their freshly chipped branches saved them time.

Thirdly, I got two loads of mulch, one from a lot development site behind my house and another from a Craigslist landscaper who needed to dump his freshly chipped, clean tree.

I used mulch to cover bare roots around a beech tree, creating a dramatic circle with sprigs of ground-cover. I used chips to level out my earthen driveway, which slanted towards our foundation.

To manage a pile of mulch at the end of your driveway, use the shovel at the bottom edges of your pile; it gives and is easy to load up your shovel. I loaded into plastic tubs and wheeled trashcans for easy relocation to specific sites (garden, trees).


I heard that wood chips damage tender roots of seedlings, due to the nitrogenous heat created by decomposition; however, my plants are thriving spectacularly with this mulch. Perhaps the water preserving mulch aspect outweighed the heat nature in my case. Cover your mulch pile with a tarp if it rains, to keep it light and fluffy for easier removal. And sing some good work songs while moving your mountain of mulch.

By mary knight from Kensington, MD

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By 5 found this helpful
December 16, 2010

Everyone complains about catalogs and how they clutter up their mail boxes. I say bring them on! First, I check out specials and compare prices for something I would like to eventually purchase. I love to window shop in the "wish books". Then I go through them for any picture I can use with my card making and finally I use them as mulch under my trees and bushes.


In a dry country such as Australia, water conservation is priority. Free mulch arrives in my mail box and I say "thank you!" Many would say catalogs destroy forests, and I agree, but until they stop doing this I will use this product to create and maintain my own forest.

By Linda from Australia

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October 23, 2008

If you garden, buy mulch now! All the garden centers and other stores that sell mulch in bulk bags, have them on super sale right now. I just bought 5 bags (1.5 cubic feet each) of mulch for only $5! It's usually $2.79 a bag, so this is close to be only a third of retail. Yay, me!

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By 5 found this helpful
October 28, 2011

Save your back, save time, and make leaf and debris cleanup much easier! Simply sharpen your lawnmower blades and then start mowing over the leaves. Don't use the bagger. You won't need it.

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By 2 found this helpful
June 1, 2011

When you mow your lawn, take the grass clippings and use as mulch on your flower and vegetable beds.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 18, 2012

I ask my neighbors to give me their grass clippings after they have mowed their lawn. They leave me bags of clippings that I use as mulch around my flowers and vegetable plants.


As the grass decomposes it fertilizes the plants and it keeps weeds from growing.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 18, 2006

Mulch can do so much to make a garden look fine, but it's so expensive! I've found that a request on your local FreeCycle group (, will work wonders. There is almost always someone in your area who has had a tree cut down and chipped and wants to get rid of the chippings.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 5, 2009

Can I get a load of mulch delivered for free?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By annette from Kissimmee, FL


August 5, 20090 found this helpful

I got a whole truckload delivered to my yard. The power company was 'servicing' the power poles, trimming all the tree's away from wires etc. I pulled over and asked them what they did with the shredded branches and leaves etc and they had to take it to the land fill, my house was closer. I filled my drive way with it and when it rains it washes 'compost' close to my house. Call your local power company. It can't hurt.

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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

Try contacting a tree service for free mulch. Here in the D/FW area of Texas, it costs $500 to haul the chippings from an average size tree to the landfill (according to our tree service guy). They are thrilled to have a place to dump usable mulch and it saves our landfills, too. It's truly a win/win for everyone. (We can even specify how finely we want it ground!)

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August 8, 20090 found this helpful

The same goes for dirt/landfill. Here in Florida they dig holes for pools a lot. You can ask for the truck load of dirt and if you're closer than the landfill, it's yours. Call a pool company if you don't see a truck.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 6, 2010

Can I use grass clippings for mulch in my flower beds?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By chris from IN


June 9, 20100 found this helpful

Yes as long as the grass clippings do not contain grass that has gone to seed. If it does, well you'll have a lot more grass.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

Also avoid using grass that has been treated with chemical weed killers. It might stunt your flowers.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 3, 20100 found this helpful

With winter fast approaching, we need to concentrate on protecting our treasured flower gardens. In a pinch, if I don't have adequate mulch to use on every flower bed,

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