Mulch can make for a great addition to a lawn or garden, particularly those with less-than-stellar conditions for optimal growth. Best of all, mulch is cheaply and readily available for purchase at most local garden centers and hardware stores.
What happens when you’ve covered your entire space with mulch and still have some left over? You could choose to simply throw it away but it is never a good idea to simply waste something, especially something that you paid for.
Here are a couple of suggestions for what you can do if you have some leftover mulch that you don’t know what to do with.
1 – Donate it
When you’re done mulching your yard, there’s a chance that there may be some mulch left over. Instead of simply throwing away, try donating it to the neighbors.
While not everyone puts the same level of time and care into their yards, there may be others on the block that would benefit.
Keep tabs on neighbors with gardens, tree lawns, or other areas that can be mulched. Offer to let the neighbors take what they need or even to deliver it to the home of elderly neighbors. They will be thrilled at the gesture even if they have to spread it themselves.
Besides, there’s nothing quite like being able to repurpose something that may have wound up in the trash otherwise. It feels good in so many different ways.
2 – Use it in Other Areas
When you’ve finished mulching your yard and have some left over, don’t immediately think about getting rid of it. Instead, look to other areas of the yard that may be able to be repurposed or may benefit from a fresh mulching.
Take your mailbox area, for instance. If you’re looking to give the mailbox area a little bit of an upgrade, all it takes is a small load of mulch. Even with just the mulch, it can provide a freshly landscaped look to the area.
If you want to get really creative, transplant some flowers into the space as well. There is nothing quite as visually appealing to a mailbox area as adding a little bit of freshness and color.
The mulch will work to support and encourage the flourishing of those flowers, providing a fresh aesthetic.
3 – Create a Mulch Path
While the front yard may be the focal point for most homes, there is no need to forget about the back. When you have finished mulching the front area, take some of the leftover mulch and head to the back yard.
If there are any raised-bed gardens, you can try adding a layer of around three to four inches. This will not only help to create a more defined space between each of the garden boxes but it will also create a clearer pathway for you to reach your gardens.
That defined border and pathway can give your yard a cleaner overall aesthetic. Especially in yards with clearly defined lines, it can bring a sharpness and organization to the entire landscape that can’t quite be matched.
4 – Use it as Killing Mulch
Like it or not, there are plants that can get a little out of control in a garden space. These plants are the invasive kind and can overtake other things within the garden, playing havoc on everything that you have created.
Mulch can potentially be the secret weapon that you have been looking for. Whether it be running bamboo, ivy, or unsightly weeds, a layer of extra mulch can help to get rid of those pesky visitors once and for all.
All you have to do is cut the plant back as much as you can and then bury it under the remaining mulch that you have available. With a foot (sometimes more) of that extra mulch, you should be able to smother even the worst of invasive plants (such as weeds).
5 – Save it for Next Year
Landscaping and gardening mean a constant responsibility towards their care. The frequency of that care depends on the plant and a myriad of other factors.
The simple fact of the matter is that there’s a good chance that you’ll need more mulch come the same time next year. So why not save it?
Storing leftover mulch is relatively easy and you can have some readily available for whenever you choose to use it next. All that you need are a few tarps and a safe place to store it out of the way.
Just make sure that you spread the mulch as evenly as you can over the first tarp. This is to prevent any potential mold growth that can take place in these tight spaces.
When you’ve done this, anchor the second tarp over the top to essentially act as a roof.
With the proper storage, you can pick right up where you left off the following season. Even if you see thin, white strands permeating the mulch later on, it is typically a fungal spore known as mycelia.
Mycelia is actually good for plants so there is no need to worry there.
The simple fact of the matter is that it is a good thing to have too much as opposed to too little. Coming prepared with the amount of mulch needed for a space can ensure maximum coverage and the healthier, more consistent growth of those spaces.
There are also different ways of storage depending on whether not you still have the bag that it came in. If you do, you can simply poke some holes in the bag to provide proper airflow and use it again up to a month later.
Having a little extra mulch on hand is far from the worst thing to happen. Whether that means giving it away, using it to keep rowdy plants in line, or simply holding onto it for a day in the future is up to you.
The next time that you have mulch left over after a big project, you’ll have a better idea of how to handle it.
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.
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