Make Mine a Mulcher!

Make Mine a Mulcher

“Downsize, downsize, downsize!”

If you’re edging your way towards retirement, or have already reached this milestone, you’re probably heartily sick and tired of hearing the ‘D’ word. Yes, we all know it pays to take stock of possessions while we still have the energy and inclination to divest ourselves of those we no longer need, but every now and then, it also makes good sense to purchase something new; something that won’t necessarily fit into a shoebox, and which, despite taking up more space in the garage, is going to be worth every cent. We’re talking about a garden mulcher. Because, if ever there was a machine to lighten your load and save money in the end, this is it.

On special, a good garden mulcher costs between $400 and $800 (or more). But before you gasp, consider this: with a mulcher, you can handle 90% of your green waste on your own property (and up to 100% if you use a solid fuel burner to heat your home). Now consider the cost of removing your green waste from your property. For starters, a trailer of green waste delivered to the transfer station will set you back anywhere from $25 to $65, depending on where in the country you live. Then there’s the cost of hiring a trailer (somewhere between $15 and $35 for a half day), or if you own your own trailer, the expense of registration, WOF and maintenance. Factor in the price of fuel to travel to and from the green waste site, and the cost of keeping your own section neat and tidy begins to sky rocket. You could easily be looking at shelling out $200 or more, for a twice-yearly clean up.

But saving money is only the very beginning of the perks coming your way when investing in a garden mulcher. These amazing machines save your energy, and provide you with a wealth of compost and landscaping materials. As every gardener knows, it’s not the pruning and the clipping that’s exhausting (this part of the tidy-up is actually rather fun!). The burden sets in when it comes to lifting branches and trimmings, and lugging them to the trailer. Then there’s the chore of loading and unloading the green waste. With a mulcher, all you do is wheel it to the site where your waste is lying. It’s as easy as pushing a lawn mower.

Feeding garden waste into a mulcher is an enjoyable, meditative experience, and removing the resulting chip is easy – you lift as much as you want, whether it’s a bucket or a tub at a time. As for the uses for chip – they’re endless! Layer them with garden weeds or lawn clippings to create a rapid hot-compost, or use them as the basis for a no dig garden. Say goodbye to weeds around your shrubs by excluding the light with a thick layer of mulch, or use woody mulch (created from twigs and bare branches rather than leafy foliage) to create garden paths by laying it down over weed matting.

Once you’ve mulched all the green waste your machine can handle, you’ll be left with branches than can easily be chopped into firewood with a pair of loppers or a saw (if you don’t have a wood burner in the house, a basket of logs or kindling is a perfect gift for someone who has!).

Don’t be put off buying a mulcher simply because you’re being advised to downsize. In fact, if you have a trailer, and use it predominantly for carting green waste, a mulcher may mean you can do away with it entirely. Do, however, research thoroughly when it comes to the model of mulcher you buy. Read online reviews, and hop onto Facebook garden sites to ask lots of questions. Keep your ears open for hardware merchants offering free demonstrations. And if cost is an issue, check out friends and neighbours who might like to join you in sharing a mulcher. Armed with the right machine, it will be an investment you won’t regret.