How to make a cost effective mulch from home – Our Guide

There comes a point in every gardener’s life when your plants become like family. Your green-fingers produced a garden to make Adam and Eve jealous – but now you’ve got to maintain it. Now, the question is how to that? A trip down your local garden centre will show you that there’s a list of products as long as your arm (see our range of chippers here). They cost an arm and a leg too. But, do you know what’s cost-effective, eco-friendly & fun – making mulch. So, in this guide, I’ll show you how to make mulch from home and go from novice newbie to marvellous mulch in no time. If you’re wanting to know the difference between petrol and electric wood chippers, see our blog here!

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Where does mulch originate?

So, if you’re asking what is mulch? Well, the word itself means “soft, moist” and originates from mid-15c Old English. So, it’s an old cost-effective concept and you know what they say – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.

What is, why use and what makes mulch cost effective

Mulch as a rule is used for water retention, weed suppression, and helps keep your soil soft and fluffy. It saves time spent weeding and watering while ensuring your plants are protected against wicked winters and scorching summers. How? it retains moisture in the summer, rain to penetrate the soil in the winter and stop weeds from growing while protecting the roots through winter. Furthermore, making your own is a cost-effective alternative to buying fertilisers.

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What is mulch?

Mulch is simply a cost-effective loose covering that acts as a protective sheet of material placed over the surface of the soil. You can mulch several things. These are categorised as ‘brown’ (carbon-rich) and ‘green’ (nitrogen-rich). Moreover, you can also put through food-sources, leaves and grass trimmings. You can have both biodegradable and non-biodegradable version which offer a range of benefits, these include:

Helps retain moisture

Reduces repeated watering

Helps suppress and control weeds

Improve overall soil quality

Provides valuable nutrients

Helps deters pests

Helps prepare and warm up the soil in spring

Protects plant roots from extremely hot or cold climates

Encourages soil organisms

Provides a barrier for edible crops

Helps style and give a decorative finish

How to make your own cost-effective mulch from home

Pile up what you’re wanting to put through, think about leaves, plants and garden (and even food) matter. (avoid using walnut and eucalyptus trees!)

Shred the matter with a lawnmower or garden shredder, this makes it easier to breakdown

Use immediately and store any extras in a ventilated barrel, but the longer it’s stored – the more nutrients it will lose.

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What is cost effective to put through your wood chipper?

You can pop wood and bark through a chipper and use it on its own or in combination with leaf or grass trimmings. It has a longer shelf life, so it is great for long term use.

You can either rent your own or for a most cost-effective alternative that future proofs you and your garden – buy your own. We stock Forest Masters unrivalled FM4DDE & FM6DD both are compact, powerful, and perfect for domestic use.

The FM4DDE features a powerful 2800 watt electric motor. The FM6DD has a mighty 4 stroke engine that produces an unbelievable 3600 rpm. Moreover, both of direct drive – gone are days of broken belts! They have reversible blades, so you aren’t always having to sharpen them. Better yet they can take up to 50mm (2 inches) in diameter! These market-leading innovative products are a must-have for any green-fingered garden guru. Check out the FM4DD here and the FM6DD here.

Furthermore, add grass clippings to any leaf mulch as this makes the mulch more effective. Any fallen pines are brilliant for mulch too – acid-loving plants will thrive. Moreover, any extra paper and newspapers also make a great cost-effective mulch.

Are you excited to get mulching but unsure of whether to buy or hire a chipper – our blog’s here to help.

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