Mulch – Giving Thanks

Like you all, I’m thankful for a lot of things this time of year. Good health, a loving family, bountiful food are usually on everyone’s short list. It’s no different for mine.

Going against the grain most days, I happen to be thankful for things that don’t normally cross others’ minds. Like adaptability: we will celebrate our Thanksgiving day tomorrow, on Friday, because a sick kid put us back a couple of days. For today, it’s pizza and popcorn, and Oreo’s, and lounging all day n PJ’s.

I’m betting none of you are thankful for the annual mulching task, but I am.

10 Reasons to be Thankful
for Annual Mulching

  1.  A dump truck empties it right onto the driveway — no multiple trips to Lowe’s, no vacuuming out the van afterward, no plastic bags to recycle.

  2.  Exercise … for free! For the same amount of calories and $$ spent annually for a gym workout inside, you’ll get Vitamin D outdoors, toning up glutes, shoulders, hams, obliques, thighs and circulatory system all-at-once — plus a beautiful, tidy yard.  After twenty yards (100 wheelbarrows or so), a hot, summer bikini body is served up well before the New Year’s Resolution begs for it.

  3.  Mulch nurtures trees by discouraging competing grass and weed species within the drip-line, conserves water in the soil, and provides a nice fungal growth right where they draw in their nutrients.  It’s the least we can do for the organisms that provide and scrub the very air we breathe!

  4.   Peace and quiet. (Where are all the kids, you ask? Right. Wherever the labor isn’t.)

  5.  Mulch breaks down slowly, naturally, turning back into (you guessed it) dirt.

  6.  Eliminates entirely the need to pull weeds in the winter. Lazy gardening is the only way to go.

  7.  No expensive, frog-desexing chemicals. No more Round-up in this household, unless you’re counting grabbing kids for yard work.

  8.   Spending quality time with (a/k/a/ bossing) the Man Unit for the longer wheelbarrow hauls out to the creek.

  9.  It’s a great excuse to stand with a water hose in one hand, a beer in the other, “locking” the newly laid mulch into place, enjoying the sunset, practicing a crowd wave and I-love-life smile on the neighbors as they drive hurriedly by.

  10.  A big honking pile of chipped bark makes a superb babysitter for hours on end as kids fight for the title “King of the Mountain.”

How do you find joy in chores?

What are you most grateful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

29 thoughts on “Mulch – Giving Thanks

  1. Pingback: DirtNKids
  2. Your humour is such a delight. I love how you list ‘peace and quiet’ because where the labor is – the kids aren’t! Except when you’re not around, then the pile provides hours of fun 🙂


    1. So nice to see you so far back here! I’m certain there are posts of mine that will scratch your itch. Type “garden” in the search box and you’ll be taken to my many projects in the yard. Fun stuff!!

      PS — Not much left of the mulch pile now. We put the last touches on the newly forming espalier orchard. The 5 yards of it left will “pretty up” the rest of the back yard just in time for spring.


      1. Wow… you have an espalier orchard??? I cannot WAIT to read more about that! I love that idea, especially as a suburban back yard harvester. All I need now is an apple tree along the sunniest fence! Oh no.. a new itch! 😉


      2. Just the beginning…getting the ground ready was a lot of work. We still have to sink about 15 posts, run the cabling, and then purchase and plant 12-15 saplings. Fun! It will double as a green fence between us and our neighbor’s open fencing. You just had to go back a weee bit further (

        We already have a small orchard in the backyard (peaches, pears, plums, figs), we just want MORE. I mean, if you’re gonna plant, may as well eat from it too! Call me greedy. 🙂


    1. We are, thank goodness, but lost an entire month to chaos in one form or another. Never mind! So good to have you here; I must say I’ve missed being in contact! I hope the stars align and we get our girlie chit-chat once and for all. Until then, knock ’em dead (the exams, that is, not the patients). 🙂


  3. Looks like you have mulch to be thankful for this year. Reasons 2 (any excuse for beer on a lazy afternoon) and 1 (am not too old to play in chipped bark) are definitely tempting me to mulch the balcony, but I think the neighbours might complain.


      1. With the right sun exposure, I’ve seen some pretty awesome balcony container gardens (wicking ones work well!). If I was ever to move back to an apartment, I would definitely choose my unit based on sun exposure.


    1. Hey girl! Hope your house had a great Thanksgiving.

      There are two things I tell people to spend money on in their yard, and it’s not water, not tools, and definitely NOT fertilizer: one is mulch, the other is compost. Nature really does do it best!


    2. You know, I guess I need to. Until then, here’s a how-to that might scratch your itch. Never mind that it’s For Dummies, but explains the basic process.

      I only flip my pile twice (it’s 4-cu-ft), before it warms up in March, after it cools down in September. It’s the only work I do on it at all besides just adding layers to it (leaves, paper, grass clippings, kitchen waste). Each time, I use the stuff at the bottom to build 4×4 lasagna garden beds. Black gold!

      I’ve been known to steal bags of leaves and grass clippings. Yep, I ain’t proud when it comes to organic waste for my own yard. I like to think I’m feeding “my people” (the microorganisms that do all the tilling and fertilizing for my edibles).

      Happy, uh, Getting Dirty!


  4. I agree with Kristin. Great post. I like the line, “a beer in one hand, a water hose in the other”. My kind of person. Happy Thanksgiving, Shannon. I am thankful for your frienship. 🙂


    1. As I am thankful for yours! You and I need to get that Scrabble game on. Too bad you and Ann can’t join us by the creek; it’s looking good back there since I just today mowed the 3″ of leaves that gathered on the ground. Just need some cooler weather for a tent and a kettle-fire and we’ll be good to go. Happy Thanksgiving, Bob!


    1. I hope your day was as awesome! The sick is still, well, sick, so our T-giving may not be until the weekend. At least we’ll have some Christmas decorations and lights up as we enjoy our meal.


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