University of Florida

Recycled Utility Mulch

Adding mulch to your garden beds can help retain moisture, ward off weeds, and keep your landscape looking polished. And in many communities, you can even get mulch for free.

When utility companies trim trees near power lines, they often grind the cut branches into mulch and offer it at no charge to local residents. The mulch isn't treated in any way, so it may contain seeds that can sprout in your landscape later, requiring you to do some light weeding.

Utility mulch may also be uneven in size and texture. Make it look nicer by applying what's sometimes called a "mulch veneer." Just spread a layer of store-bought mulch over the free mulch, and you'll have a professional look at a fraction of the cost.

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