Odds & Ends

Adventures in Mulch

A few weeks ago the Sports Addict and I took all five kids in an airplane across country to visit the grandparents.  That is truly an adventure, but that’s not what I am focusing on today.  Today I’m talking about the coups my flowerbeds tried to pull while I was away.  You see I weeded and planted and weeded vigorously to the point my fingernails were a constant shade of uugggghh before we left.  But what did I come home to?

weedy flowerbed

Full Blown Mutiny

Full scale war had been declared in the flowerbed and the weeds were pretty confident they were going to win.  That’s when I knew I needed to take drastic measures this summer.  I was ready and willing to spend some serious money on poop-dirt.

Wait what?

Did I just read that right?

There must be some mistake.

No, no mistake.  The best mulch in the region for the best price is none other than our friendly neighborhood water treatment plant and dump mulch, affectionately known ’round these parts as poop-dirt.

Pile of mulch with mountains

Pile-O-Mulch in its native habitat. Notice its majestic beauty.

Acquiring this precious commodity can be rather tricky though.  You see, so many people want it that it is often out of stock, or there are long lines of trucks (usually driven by men) making it impossible for a mother of five to last the length.  But thankfully I have my friend Amy, who not only offered to help me get the mulch with her truck but knows the direct line to the mulch office so we could call ahead and see how much inventory they had before driving down.

If not for the rather unique aroma wafting through the air from somewhere nearby,  it would actually be a scenic excursion.  You have a great view of the mountains on almost all sides.

Of course there are other things to see, like the piles of green waste used as part of the poop-dirt formula.  A lot of the mulch is recycled trees, branches, and leaves.

Mulch Munching Machine

Mulch Munching Machine

It all gets chewed up into chunks of it’s previous self and then mixed with the “bio-waste” from the treatment plant.  Then thankfully it all gets composted and cooked together for a time to kill anything bad that might be in the stuff.   And remarkably when it’s all done it just smells like good, clean dirt, for the most part.  Recycling at its most basic and best.

The easy part is sitting in Awesome Amy’s truck and letting the bucket loader fill-er-up.  The hard part is unloading all that mulch and then hauling it around the yard to it’s various battlefields.

Mulch in driveway

Hey jungle of irises. Don't look too comfortable, because I'm coming for you too.

This beautiful pile sat in my driveway for almost two weeks as I slowly bucketed it around the yard.

Of course I pulled as many weeds as I could before I put it down on the flowerbeds, and there will always be a few determined insurgents, but it has made a huge difference in the overall number of weeds I have.   And it makes the flowerbeds look so nice too.

Believe it or not, but this is the same flowerbed as the first picture and the same plants, just minus the overgrown weeds.

Another benefit of the mulch is it helps retains water and makes it so we don’t have to water quite as much.

It needs to be replenished every year or so, but as long as Amy and her truck are willing, we’ll be buying poop-dirt again.