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The Power of Sheet Mulching

 
steward
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I would like to share this video by John Kohler with everyone because it is a fantastic example of how great mulching is for rebuilding fertility in a landscape. He also makes a point that sources of mulch abound from the waste streams of others.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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That's a great resource! Unfortunately I pay for woodchips it's free only in the US.
 
Dave Burton
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Are you sure? No lumber companies or arborists throwing away wood chips or wood waste?

I'm just guessing, please don't be offended; Europe is pretty good at getting companies to put all their chickens in order. Many USA companies just want to throw stuff away, so that waste stream is open which is why it is free. For the mulch, it is free because it is expensive to pay fines for throwing it away and to haul it to the landfill. So a gardener can call a company and ask for their waste stream. The trick is, most people don't know they can just ask. It's that simple.

Now, if one wanted to do "Bomb-Proof-Sheet-Mulching" as Toby Hemenway talked about in his book Gaia's Garden, here are some ideas on waste streams to communicate with to get the materials:
1) Grocery stores
2) Neighbors
3) Municipal government offices; save government money, whatever wasted you like: trees, organics, etc
4) Sawmills
 
Dave Burton
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Also, since I recently finished reading Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, I'd like to mention that he was great at emphasizing analyzing things as a system.

If there are any weak links in the waste system in your area, you could use that to your advantage to obtain mulching material.
 
Angelika Maier
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Dave, in Australia everything is a bit more expensive, I was calling the woodchips guy yesterday to order a load, but the price increase from 10 to 20dollars the cubic meter. Here they dump it on a pile until sold and often they don't have anything to sell.
If it would be free I would order 30m3 immediately!
 
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Location: Solothurn, Switzerland
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I nearly strangled my husband when he had 2 truckloads of cuttings hauled AWAY from our property. I wanted to mulch it all. We are in Switzerland and NOTHING is free. I am currently working on my neighbors to give me their clippings rather than send them with the green waste once a week. I have used up most of the pile of mulch I did manage to make as well as most of the Wood from the trees we cut down to build my first Hugelbed. Come Fall, I will be on the hunt for everyones' leaves and anything else.
 
Angelika Maier
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We have an area in front of the house were the neighbours can dump their stuff, but in Switzerland that would be too untidy. It stays there for months.
I would immediately take the 100 yards of woodchips even pay hundred dollars for them.
 
Posts: 283
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
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Angelika Maier wrote:That's a great resource! Unfortunately I pay for woodchips it's free only in the US.



Make that in PARTS of the USA. I've gotten one load free but most of the arborists and landscape companies around here sell the mulch. The county takes trimmings to the main "recycle" location for distribution to county residents ($15 a truckload) but it is on the other side of the county.

I dream of having a truck and a wood chipper--and keeping the wood chipper in the truck so I can go around after wind storms (like Hurricane Arthur) and collect downed branches that are on the side of the road and harvest them.
 
gardener
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We got 5 dump truckloads delivered to our place when the subcontracted crews were clearing for electrical lines.

The rural town 12 miles west of me provides it free but you have to Load it/haul. The bigger town 12 miles east charges for it.
 
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I have used about 1500 lb of coffee waste in the last 10 days. Wood waste is free here. I'm 8 miles from the city, so too far for most landscapers. Any waste that I produce at tree jobs is hauled to the farm.

I'm currently looking for a firewood guy to store and process wood at my place and for a tree service guy to live on site. When wood is split, bark and rotten cores are shed. This material is useful to me.
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