Gardeners Flock to Free Mulch Day 2009

It’s not spring until the free mulch giveaway sponsored by Denver Recycles and Denver Parks and Recreation.

mulch-day-2009-blog1Following an annual spring tradition, we woke up early, grabbed coffee and headed out the door for the TreeCycle Mulch Giveaway. We arrived 40 minutes before opening and took our places as the 10th and 11th in line. It seems every Denver resident has discovered the benefits of mulch—especially when it’s free.

Christmas trees are chopped, crushed and turned into mulch between January and May by Denver Recycles, a program of Denver Public Works and Solid Waste Management, and Denver Parks and Recreation. In addition to the huge piles of mulch, A1 Organics sells dark rich compost at the south side of the lot.

In 2001, when we first started taking advantage of the free mulch and low-cost compost, it wasn’t nearly as popular. We’d get to the giveaway around 8:00, pull right in and load up our cars, first with bags of compost and then with bags of mulch.

However, last year we were in for a big surprise. Getting there at 8:00 wasn’t nearly early enough. There was a long line of pickups, cars and trailers that stretched down one side of the road and up the other. We didn’t want to sit in line for the better part of the morning, so we left and took on another landscaping task.

compost-helper-isaac-blogBut this year, it was the early bird that got the compost. A volunteer named Isaac helped me load the compost by shoveling it into 10 bags and loading them in my car.

Meanwhile, John was at the mulch pile, using a pitchfork to shovel mulch into heavy-duty construction cleanup bags.

As soon as we got home, and while John unloaded the cars, I covered one perennial bed with a thick layer of mulch. I’ll use the compost to top dress the lawn, to turn into the vegetable garden and to dig into the soil in other parts of the garden.

Then we’ll mark our calendar for the first Saturday in May 2010 and plan on getting up just a little bit earlier.


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