I hate paying for mulch for my garden. Mulch smells bad and it’s expensive. I have discovered a free and easy way to make my own mulch. I use dead leaves and pine needles. In the beginning I raked my own leaves and put them on the beds. Then I discovered the beauty of other peoples leaves. I got this tip from a woman I met at a plant sale at our local arboreteum.
On trash day, in most neighborhoods people put their leaves in clear plastic bags and leave them on the curb. I simply go out before trash pick up and load up my car with leaf bags. It’s easy to spot them because they are in the clear plastic bags. Don’t take bags that are not clear because you don’t know what’s in them. Also, if you are concerned about your car, line your seats or trunk with an old sheet. After you take out the bags simply shake out the sheet and voila clean car.
Take the bags and dump them on your beds. So simple. Now obviously, leaf collection is a seasonal occupation. The great things is though, the leaves are in the plastic bags so you can save them. If you have a place to store the bags you can use them whenever you need them. Plastic bags of leaves weigh much less than bags of mulch, so it is much easier on your back. Also, you are helping save the enviornment because you are recycling.
If you want, you can use the leaves to make a simple compost pile. I have small, out of the way corner in my back yard where I keep my compost pile. I put in dead leaves, pine needles, egg shells, orange peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, shredded newspaper and discarded bedding plants. I have actually had some of bedding plants reseed themselves in the compost pile. Don’t put in anything wet like banana peels or apples cores or else or you will get maggots. I speak from personal experience. Since you can’t really turn this type of compost pile you are a bit limited with what you can put in. I often use my compost pile to fill my hanging planters. I mix the compost with potting soil. That way I use less potting soil which is also expensive. If you have a compost pile you will find you have less trash in your trash bins. You save money on trash bags also.