I've come up with several ways to make mulch out of common household items, as well as from things I've found around the yard. It might be easier to simply go to the garden supply store in the next town over and buy a bag of pre-made mulch, but what's the fun in that? Here are 5 tips on making your own mulch. You might decide to never purchase mulch again!
5. Use Leaves and Grass Clippings
Combining dried leaves and grass will make great mulch that adds lots of nitrogen to the soil. It's best if you are able to chop the leaves and grass into finer bits, such as with a lawn mower.
4. Create Your Own Mixture from Kitchen Scraps
This type of mulch does take more time to gather together, unless you live in a large household where lots of veggies are eaten. Vegetable scraps, banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds can be chopped up together and then placed around plants.
3. Shred Old Newspapers
I always have newspaper on hand, so I can make this type of mulch at any time. The only thing people don't like about using newspaper as mulch is the appearance of it. I like to add a layer of shredded newspaper mulch and then cover over it with a layer of crushed leaves or some grass clippings.
2. Set up a Fence to Store Your Mulch in
All you need is a set of 4 walls to contain your mulch. These can be made from 2 x 4 boards and some chicken wire, both of which are very cheap to purchase. The fenced in area will help you keep your mulch corralled.
1. Be Sure to Turn the Mulch over Every Other Day
A potato fork or a pitch fork work best for turning your homemade mulch. You'll need to do this every other day to keep the leaves, clippings, or scraps from becoming a big wet mass. Turning the mulch often allows it to dry out better.
When applied thick enough, mulch will keep the weed population down, prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil as quickly, and it will add more nutrients to the soil. Do you currently use mulch on your garden?
Top Photo Credit: O Caritas