Lots of people are into putting mulch in their garden areas because of how nice it can look. It’s also very practical because it can help to keep weeds from growing up and bothering your plants.
If you regularly spend a lot of money on mulch, you might be tempted to just try to make your own instead.
Most people who make mulch are going to utilize tools such as large wood chippers to get things done. If you don’t have a chipper, can you still make it properly?
Yes, you can definitely make mulch without a chipper, but you’re going to need to know how to go about it in the right way.
Check out your options below. This should give you the right start on your journey to creating your own high-quality mulch.
A chipper would certainly make things easier in many ways, but it isn’t an absolute necessity.
Chopping the Wood Yourself
Chopping the wood yourself is probably the most obvious way that you could make mulch without using a chipper. The big issue here is that this is incredibly labor intensive and not everyone is going to have the willpower or muscle to do it.
If you have several large tree branches, you could turn those into wood chips with enough time on your hands.
It’s certainly going to be a workout to try to go about things in this fashion and you’re going to need to be prepared for that. Before going forward with chopping up wood into tiny pieces, you should make sure that you’re able to handle doing this physically.
It could take a lot out of you and it would be a shame to hurt yourself because you weren’t ready for this level of physical activity.
With that warning out of the way, it’s time to discuss exactly how to go about doing this. You should get an ax or some tree loppers to get everything underway. Many people decide to start things out with the tree loppers to get the smaller branches cut off and turned into tiny pieces.
You can then take your ax and start to chop things down until they’re smaller wood chip pieces. The majority of people that use this method will not cut things down quite so small as usual.
A chipper would create pretty small pieces of mulch that you can use, but you might not have the patience to try to do all of that manually.
Some people use a hammer to try to smash wood into pieces as well. You could try this out if you think that using an ax or hatchet just isn’t working out as well as you’d hoped.
No matter what, it’s going to be wise to use your tree loppers to cut things into smaller pieces.
Makeshift Wood Chipper
You could go ahead and try to use some sort of makeshift wood chipper that will allow you to get the same results.
This may or may not be a good idea and you’d probably have to use smaller pieces of wood than normal. Some people have large angle grinders that they can repurpose and use to create wood chips.
This isn’t a recommended method because you could wind up ruining a perfectly good angle grinder and it isn’t worth it. The basic idea is that you can use something with the power to grind or cut up the wood into small chips. Just know that some people have done this and you could give it a go if you wanted to.
Your safety is of the utmost importance and you shouldn’t do anything that is going to put yourself at risk. Be mindful of dangers related to trying to create your own wood chipper. Saving a few bucks might not be worthwhile if you’re going to have to take risks to do it.
There have even been people who have created wood chips by crushing up small branches and logs using tractor tires. This isn’t exactly creating your own makeshift wood chipper, but it is something that showcases a bit of ingenuity.
The thing to remember is to be mindful of safety and to avoid damaging your belongings.
Why People Love Homemade Wood Chips
People love homemade wood chips because it allows them to feel like they aren’t being wasteful.
There might be quite a bit of brush on your property that you won’t want to simply waste by burning it. This wood could be used to create wood chips that will help you to get the most out of your garden areas.
Also, wood chips have a nice and compelling look to them that makes them ideal for gardens. Even some simple downed tree limbs can turn into nice wood chips that will help you to get better results in your gardens.
If you want to make mulch that will stop weeds from harming your plants, this will work out nicely.
It’s also satisfying to be able to clean up your yard and keep it looking nice. If you have quite a bit of property, you likely go around picking up downed tree limbs and branches after a big storm rolls through.
If you don’t take the time to make wood chips out of these branches, what are you going to do with them?
Making homemade wood chip mulch is practical for most people and it’s a lot of fun. Admittedly, it would be a lot easier if you had a traditional wood chipper to use. This would save you a lot of time and it’d make the process quite simple.
Even making wood chip mulch the manual way is going to be worth looking into. You won’t have to spend money to buy mulch for your gardens and it’ll give you a little bit of a workout.
Just be honest about whether you have the time to accomplish this or if you’re better off buying mulch.
Remember when you’re laying down your mulch not to go overboard. You might wind up making so much wood chip mulch that you will decide to use a whole bunch of it, but this could be counterproductive for your flower beds or gardens.
You see, if you place too much mulch down, it’s going to be hard for your plants to thrive.
An abundance of mulch will create a situation where your plants don’t have enough space to do what they need to do. Some plants might struggle to get their roots deep enough to get important nutrients.
This is why you need to lay thin layers of mulch that make sense instead of going too deep.
As long as you’re being mindful of this, it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid laying down too much mulch. Just use your better judgment and be ready to hold some back if you need to.
You want to give your plants the right environment and you know what people say about too much of a good thing.
Do you have areas on your property that could use a good amount of mulch? Think about where it will do the most good and then start using it.
If you wind up needing more, it should be simple to find some extra wood to make some whenever you happen to have the time and energy to do so.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel