7 Cheap (Or Free) Mulch Sources and How To Use Them In Your Garden

7 Cheap (Or Free) Mulch Sources and How To Use Them In Your Garden

Grab some Birdies Raised Beds: https://bit.ly/34b9cZU Mulch is a gardener’s best friend, but sometimes it’s not the friendliest on the budget. There’s really NO need to buy mulch at garden centers or nurseries if you don’t want to. With a bit of creativity, you can learn how to mulch with cheap or free sources in your local area.

Wood chips, grass clippings, leaves, chipdrop, connecting with your local municipality, etc. All of these types of mulch are good options. In fact, some of these sources are the feature of popular gardening methods, like back to eden, the Ruth Stout method, etc.


→ Full Article: https://www.epicgardening.com/cheap-mulch-ideas-to-save-money/
→ Chipper Shredder Reviews: https://www.epicgardening.com/best-chipper-shredder-reviews/


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  1. Vincent Nola on November 8, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    How deep does a mulch layer need to be to be effective? 1-2 inches? Trying to place an order and hoping we can get it cheap/free. Need to dial in the cubic feet tho so wondering about depth

  2. Laura May on November 8, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    Chip Drop has been a HUGE disappointment in Richmond VA. I have never had any actually deliver even though they said. I still got charged. Thankfully my bank reversed the charge since I didn’t want to wait the two to three weeks for Chip Drop to refund. So, if doing ChipDrop, don’t pay and do count on them

  3. Amy Ferguson on November 8, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Are Podocarpus okay for chips / mulch

  4. TheKeeny on November 8, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much! I had no idea that cities offered free mulch to residents, and a quick google search turned up my city’s self-serve pick-up location! It’s exactly what I’m looking for. Thank you for the great tip!

  5. josephjdesouza on November 8, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Good ideas. However, I’m a little cautious about the use of leaves and grass clippings. I live in the northeast in the suburbs. Lots of neighbors use weed products and insecticides in their lawn. I don’t know how long those chemicals take to break down in the ecosystem and even though I use organic fertilizers and natural weed remediation I’m a little leery of the water table getting traces of these chemicals from adjacent properties. A raised garden bed and reliably sourced compost and mulch are a gardener’s best friend.

  6. trumpetingangel on November 8, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    You could wait the rest of your life for Chip Drop, at least in my area. Better to call your local arborists, and ask if they need to dump some chipped wood. It’s awesome, and they will often give you a rough time it will arrive.

  7. Leslie Kendall on November 8, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    My city has free wood chips from arborists but the free compost has to be picked up and I don’t drive. 😢. But it’s a new program so maybe some day they’ll deliver to homebounds. 🤞

  8. finflwr on November 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm


  9. Rose Rizzo on November 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Great info!

  10. Mooner on November 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    Is just me or does it look like he is sitting on the can in the opening part of this fantastic video. Then he switches to the hay toilet lol. I do actually love your videos though bro. Keep it up man. Just a little funny but that good kind of Funny.

  11. Barbara May on November 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    So I just watched your vid on mulch. Very good and informative. My question is: what, if any, are the negatives in using cardboard as a weed barrier in my side yard garden? I am in NM and we have bermuda grass that is very invasive! I really don’t want to use weed cloth but I need to put something down to destroy this vicious (in my situation) weed! So your comments please on a layer of cardboard covered with mulch? Then I can do a little rock plant landscaping…
    Thank you so much and eagerly awaiting your reply,

  12. Hey It's Māi! on November 8, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for this. I will start multching now.

  13. R J on November 8, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    this is one subject that still drives me crazy. I still don’t know what to do with my container and raised bed garden and I need to do something soon!

  14. Carol Peters on November 8, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Was that name Ruth Stout?

  15. Epic Gardening on November 8, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Mulch Basics – 0:00
    Straw Bales – 1:34
    Chipper Shredder – 3:12
    Local Municipality – 4:02
    ChipDrop – 5:37
    Pine Needles – 8:10
    Grass Clippings – 9:20
    Autumn Leaves – 10:38

  16. The Flying Dutchman on November 8, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Pre-harvest treatment of wheat etc often involves spraying the crop with glyphosate to hasten the drying process. Make sure you source your straw.

  17. Mickey Theodore on November 8, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Suzanna Maria Emmanuel: Connecting into Inspirations of Universal Love – 20 February 2022

  18. Mj on November 8, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Eric, you ROCK! I enjoy ALL of your shows and am learning a lot! Thank you! My question today is can I use palm tree leaves to line the bottom of my soon-to-be-raised vegetable beds?

  19. Kathy Buhler on November 8, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Now I learn that pine mulch is perfectly acceptable after burning at least 50 bushels of the stuff 😬😫. Well there is always next year.

  20. Van Man on November 8, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Fking nice!

  21. Jules Mac on November 8, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been a Mad Keen Mulcher for many years! I have fairly limited space so use a tumble composter to process kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, leaves, etc, though if the composter is full I do sprinkle lawn clippings direct as Kevin suggests. I also have an old bucket with big holes in the bottom which I partially sink into the soil and put kitchen scraps directly in. It has a lid to keep vermin out and very soon worms and other organisms move in to do their work. Unless you have enormous amounts of kitchen scraps this can be left in place indefinitely, or you can move it to different spots. Not really a mulch but I thought I’d mention it!
    I also get shredded paper from my friends and neighbours who have home office shredders and use this either ii. the tumble composter for eventual mulch or in my chicken run. Then after a while the shredded paper, straw and poop from the chicken run goes through the composting process before I use it as mulch so that the nitrogen from the chicken poop breaks down.
    I find it easy to source free mulch if you put your mind to it! All my neighbours have gardens but only one has a compost system going, the others opt to buy plastic bags of readymade mulch and compost which I find most odd! However it does mean that I score their grass clippings as well as shredded paper, and they often give me green kitchen scraps for the chickens and get eggs in return!
    My one regret is that I’ve never invested in a chipper! I’ve always tried to garden on a shoestring budget and it is a big investment to buy a decent chipper so I haven’t………maybe one day!
    Greetings to all from Sunny Queensland 😎

  22. PTZ on November 8, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    A Chipper … is NOT Cheap OR Free!!! 😀

  23. Terri Hansen on November 8, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Be careful storing your straw like that. It can spontaneously combust.

  24. All Things Possible on November 8, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Our chip drop doesnt let you take less than the full truck load! I put a sign out saying FREE CHIPS! Many people used it…

  25. YOLO TOKO on November 8, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    im a noob new planter planting veges in my garden bed. i have grass clippings collected, is this good mulch?

  26. Christina Kennedy on November 8, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Does the shredder chipper break down the thorns of the Bugonvillia good? Or will i still get stuck with thorns afterwards

  27. Steve Silver on November 8, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    I use leaves, as the worms love them. I also overwinter my plot with them as well.

  28. Nila G on November 8, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Grandma good morning! Filipina here! I stumbled in your youtube yesterday while searching for the possible remedy with aphids and earwigs that eating our baby plants…what got me interested when you mentioned your grandma is Filipina. Because of her i watched your video….and yes ,your topic is so right on time. I have no experience about gardening here in California because it very different from the soil and weather condition in Philippines thats why i have to research on youtube. Keep up the good work!

  29. 💙 Bél P Larenn 💙 on November 8, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    @3:15s hey love ur content, what is that beautiful pink flower thats blowing in the wind behind you? i love deep colors like that and i really am impressed on how it looks.

  30. Exeter Beekeeper on November 8, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    I have used used hops from my local brewery.

  31. wendy Taylor on November 8, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Great video, thankyou for all the great tips.
    I am growing my potatoes in hay, here in The Netherlands as slugs seem to really like straw, so maybe something to consider for those living in wetter climates .

  32. Diamonddrake on November 8, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    In SC where I live pine needles are the only mulch anyone uses.

  33. Sunny Bizz on November 8, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    I discovered flax straw years ago. I live in a dry prairie zone with hot winds and very low rainfall. Flax straw placed on paths and around plants keeps roots cool and evenly moist. It keeps weeds down and reduces compaction from foot traffic. Best of all rodents hate it.

  34. RPGoblin on November 8, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Is laying down a thin weed barrier first around a tree and then mulching with grass clippings or dried weeds too much

  35. Glenn Dzombar on November 8, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    What brand of chipper/shredder would you recommend?

  36. Jackhammer on November 8, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Grass clippings smell horrible when it decomposes.

  37. Jesseca K. on November 8, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Proud Filipina here🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭

  38. Excalibur John Deere on November 8, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Look up Humanure

  39. Debbie Perks on November 8, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Both hay and straw have seeds. Hay is used for feed and straw is used for bedding. Straw is also used in gardening. Our country store where we get our straw bales we’re out of straw bales so I had to get the hay bales. So in conclusion, don’t kid yourself, they both have seeds. Also hay is more expensive than straw. When the bales grow, and they will, you just pull them out.

  40. Eric Schumann on November 8, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    With municipal compost and mulch, are you not worried about chemicals that may have been sprayed on the organic matter before it got to the municipality? There’s no way to know for sure what is in it.

  41. Cynthia L on November 8, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for this video. Would you please make a video on how to replace mulch and what are the benefits of mulch? Newbies like me actually don’t know how to replace mulch.

  42. Nancy Hjort on November 8, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    Grass clippings could have all kinds of weed killers and non-organic additives.

  43. nicole cioffi on November 8, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    Maybe a silly question, but what do you do with the mulch in your bed once the season is over? Does it get mixed in with the soil?

  44. Eyevoree on November 8, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    I just checked for straw bales in Southern CA and they are as expensive as THIRTY DOLLARS for a 5lb bale. Absolutely insane. Lol I was really looking forward to straw.

  45. RenaV on November 8, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Some of the things with Chip Drop depends on the area. I just recently ordered a drop, received a text 2 days later that they were coming by with my wood chips. So some areas will let you know and sometimes it takes less time than you expect.

  46. William Lewin on November 8, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    Some time you can find straw free when it gets old.

  47. Sage Premoe on November 8, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    ?Have you ever used twigs for mulch? If they are small enough I’d think they’d be much like straw. What do you think?

  48. Cynthia Blanton on November 8, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    I use the pellets I buy for my pellet stove. Sprinkle them around and water them and they puff. The wind doesn’t seem to bother them as much as straw.

  49. Tim Darms on November 8, 2022 at 10:07 pm

    Is there any mulch recommended that won’t attract roaches!? I have been using leaves in my garden (surrounded by turf grass) but been noticing more and more German roaches in the garden. Fortunately, I was able to keep myself from burning the entire pace down (my knee jerk reaction to those things) and simply remove the leaves. This has gotten rid of the issue. But is there anything else I could use that wouldn’t bring them back? (I love is SC…why I live here, I don’t know)

  50. Nancy Webb on November 8, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    I have a neighbor who has two big maple trees. I rake them and bag them and bring them home. Then I shred them and bag them to use in my yard. Keeps us both happy! 😸😸😸

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