A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Free Mulch and Pics of the Mulch Yard

Here in Grand Forks, North Dakota the local Parks and Recreation District operates a multi-purpose yard for cultivating trees and shrubs, storing equipment, and maintaining huge piles of compost, mulch, and other yard materials (it's technically called Old Dutch Park - Map).  And the best part?  It's all completely free!!  Yeah, free mulch.  Sure you have to load it and haul it, but a little bit of elbow grease for free mulch is a small price to pay.

We're huge believers in mulch here on the homestead.  It helps keep roots nice and cool on hot summer days, retains water in the soil and limits the amount of irrigation needed, and breaks down into nice organic matter that creates a healthy soil system.  I've extolled the virtues of mulch before and we've had larger amounts delivered when we had big projects, but for the most part the trips to the mulch yard provide an adequate amount.  Look at that mountain of free mulch!
Here's the mulch yard.  Those are 20 foot high piles of mulch that go on for 100 yards or so.  It's good stuff.  There's also compost, sand, even some small aggregate. As long as you're not a professional landscaper, you can drive in and load up your car for free.  I can fit three full size trash cans into the Subaru Outback, it takes me a half hour total to get there, scoop up mulch to fill the trash cans, and get back home.  Easy peasy. 
The only stuff that's off limits is one pile of shredded wood chips that the Parks and Rec folks use for playground ground covering.
I get mulch from here on a regular basis.  I have procured compost from here before, but after one too many stories of "killer compost", there's just no way to be sure that there isn't some kind of herbicide lurking in that compost.  For the most part the mulch is less likely to contain some surprise. 
Mountains of mulch, it's truly a beautiful sight to behold, especially for a mulch junkie like me.

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