Even though I live in suburban St. Louis in a fully residential neighborhood, the terrain required the builders 40 years ago to leave fairly substantial amounts of undeveloped "common ground. I have a narrow strip of this behind my house, but there are larger sections nearby -- the reason we have so much daily deer traffic. The residents who have common ground behind their homes often use the "woods" to dump their yard waste: mainly leaves and sticks. I promote this practice, as those materials quickly break down and certainly don't cause any problems.
Almost everybody is happy with this practice, but there are always exceptions, right? There is one unhappy neighbor who went so far as to put up a "No Dumping" sign in the woods behind his house, even though it was his next-door neighbor who was "dumping" there. Let me make it clear right now that I welcome this unloading of organic matter in my yard!
In fact I've already talked about my trips to the community mulch pile in order to get loads of free chippings for this back part of my yard. I also let neighbors from across the street (who do not back to common ground) dump their leaves back here. I don't think there's been a year yet when I've gotten all of the leaves or wood chips that I really wanted. I was actually planning another trip or three to the mulch pile again this weekend, but that's changed now.
You see, at this month's first Saturday meet-up at the Schlafly Gardenworks I got a hot tip when we were talking about mulching. One of the gardeners mentioned that our local power utility (Ameren) has a service where you can request free wood chips. Just sign up on their website and after some amount of time you'd get a free load of chips delivered to your home.
|Not a lot of room for equipment maneuvers.|
I called back the next day, confirmed that I did indeed want a load of chips and that they could just dump it on the driveway behind the sidewalk. It sounded like they were going to come by later that day. Wow, that was fast!
They didn't come that day.
I called back a few days later just to make sure they hadn't forgotten about me. "I didn't forget you" I was reassured. "I'm just waiting until we get a 'clean' load of chips -- some of the stuff we've chipped lately was pretty junky". I didn't say "junky is fine as it's what I usually use" but instead just thanked him.
|Pulling forward because there's more in there.|
|We'll try moving the arm the other way where there's no tree...|
|That did it!|
If you hadn't noticed from the photos, the chips arrived yesterday!
Good timing too, as the weather today (Saturday) is going to be mild: 58ºF (14ºC). No wheeling loads of mulch in the snow this time!
|Looks big from this side...|
I will certainly be putting miles on the wheelbarrow today -- this is a large load of chips!
When I fill my truck at the community pile or buy a yard of mulch I get between 6 and 7 wheelbarrow loads out of it. I'll count when I move this stuff to see how many cubic yards it is, but it has to be at least three.
|But even bigger from this one!|
Looking at the pile again now, this has to be at least 25 wheelbarrow loads. I'm glad that this stuff needs to go downhill and not up.
In that earlier post I asked "what's better than free mulch?".
Free mulch that is delivered, that's what!
(Is a similar service available where you live? Check into it!)