Why have you been paying $5 a bag (or more!) for chipped wood at the home improvement store? It’s sitting around town in piles, just waiting for you to roll up and grab it. It’s a program by the Los Angeles City Sanitation Department.
There are 10 different locations throughout Los Angeles where you can get free mulch, as much as you can haul. Visit the City Sanitation website for more info. I went to the Sun Valley location where it get’s deliveries of mulch every day. My husband and I stopped at the North Hills location first, but it was picked clean. So I’d guess it’s a good idea to go on the days the location gets a mulch drop off. The days are listed on this easy reference flyer.
All you need to do is just pull up with some bags (we used a tarp) and shovel it in. Why should you use mulch in your garden? Well, besides it’s aesthetic qualities, it holds moisture within the soil which saves water. Instead of the soil getting dried out by the sun, it stays where your plants need it.
Check out what a difference it made in one part of my garden. Here are the before and after photos. Click on them to enlarge.