Back in October when the weather was finally cooling off after the long hot summer, I decided it was time to mulch the paths of my, by now, not so new garden.  I went to a tree removal company, that is only a few miles from my house, and asked if they could deliver a truck load of mulch to me.  They said they could and it would be about $100, but I could take as much as I wanted for free.  I was hoping to not have to load the mulch myself but I didn’t want to pay $100 to have some delivered.  You guessed it, I decided to get it myself.  Honestly, I figured I could use the exercise, so off I went to get my first load.  Much to my surprise there was an elderly gentleman by the mulch piles with a front end loader.  I went over and asked if he could load me up and he said he was happy to.  I felt like I had hit the mulch jackpot!  Since I had access to this free mulch and temporarily had someone to load it for me, I wondered if I shouldn’t, mulch not only my garden paths, but also all my flower beds.  I normally use pine straw as mulch in my flower beds because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to spread.

Huge piles of mulch for the taking.

Huge piles of free mulch.

In previous years, as part of my volunteer hours for being a Master Gardener, I have helped spread wood chip mulch in a few of the different gardens the Master Gardeners take care of.  Each year in the fall they “put the gardens to bed” by spreading a nice thick layer of wood chips in all the beds.  Of course, Master Gardeners have been doing this for years, but the soil in these beds is absolutely amazing.  To have soil that is anything but sand here in Florida is quite an accomplishment.  I realize that I have only had my flower beds in for a few years, but the pine straw does not seem to be decomposing and leaving that nice rich soil like the wood chips do.  Whether or not my observation of wood chips decomposing to leave nicer soil than pine straw is accurate I don’t know.  But since I had this jackpot of mulch I decided that I would not only mulch my vegetable garden paths, but  “put my garden, aka. flower beds, to bed” using the wood chips.

Unloading mulch one wheelbarrow load at a time.

Unloading mulch one wheelbarrow load at a time.

To date I have used 10 truck loads of mulch and unfortunately am not done.  Thankfully I had help loading the first few truckloads.

I am going to leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Sunny and one of her pals, she doesn’t have a name yet.  They are Indian Runner Ducks and are about 9 weeks old in this picture from a few weeks ago.

Sunny and her pal

Sunny and her pal

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