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How to Make Mulch (Without Using a Chipper)

How to Make Mulch (Without Using a Chipper)
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Putting mulch in your garden is a great idea for many different reasons. It can help your plants to thrive by reducing problems with weeds, and it might even help the soil retain moisture better.

If you have lots of excess wood in your yard, then you might want to turn some of it into mulch. Making wood chip mulch would be easy if you had a wood chipper that you could utilize.

However, most people don’t have chippers that they can use to make mulch. Is there a good way to make mulch if you don’t have a chipper?

Keep reading to learn about how to make mulch without a chipper. It’ll help you to get good results when creating mulch even when you have to do so by hand.

Making Mulch by Chopping Wood Yourself

It might take quite a bit of time to do this, but you could create wood mulch by just chopping up wood by hand. So long as you have an axe, it’s going to be possible to get this done.

Grab tree branches or logs that you have sitting around in your yard. Take your axe and start chopping the wood up into tiny pieces.

It could be helpful to use loppers to cut parts of your tree branches into more manageable sections. You could also do this with your axe, but it might be faster and less harsh to use loppers for some logs.

This is going to be a time-consuming way to make mulch, but you can do this if you want to try. The downside is that this is a physically demanding way to make mulch.

Even chopping up one or two logs to turn them into mulch will tire most people out. If you aren’t in excellent shape, then you might want to look for another method.

Of course, being able to get a workout isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just be honest about your physical limitations and don’t try to push yourself too far.

It might sound nice to be able to save a few bucks by making your own mulch, but it isn’t worth it if you wind up hurting yourself. Be careful when trying to chop wood to create mulch by hand this way.

You can choose to use a hammer instead of an axe if you think that would work out better. Sometimes it is easier to break up chunks of wood into pieces using a hammer, but you’re likely going to be better off using the axe a bit if you’re working with logs or large branches.

Unusual Ways to Make Wood Chips

This next idea is kind of odd in some ways, but some people have been able to make this work. You could try to make wood chips by repurposing tools that you have at home.

For example, you could try to use something such as an angle grinder to make pieces of wood smaller. By feeding small pieces of wood into the angle grinder, it’d be possible to make them even smaller.

Some people have also used small chainsaws to cut logs and branches into small pieces. You won’t be able to get the wood pieces quite small enough to be used as mulch when using a standard chainsaw, but you can make manageable chunks of wood that you can try to smash up.

People have even attempted to run over logs and branches with their cars and tractors to make wood chips. This might not be a good idea if you care about the condition of your tires, of course.

If you decide to try to make wood chips using any of these outside-the-box ideas, then you’ll need to be careful. It isn’t wise to put yourself in danger and you should always err on the side of caution.

It’d be better to go out and purchase the equipment that you need to make wood chips than it would be to injure yourself. Don’t do anything reckless and try to keep your wits about you even if you’re simply chopping wood with an axe.

It’s Probably Best to Use a Wood Chipper

As you might expect, it’s probably going to be best to use a wood chipper when you want to make homemade mulch. Trying to make wood chips by hand is going to be such a time-consuming process that it might not be practical.

You can indeed get this done, but it isn’t going to be something that many people would want to dedicate time to. If you’re a busy professional, then you might not have anywhere near enough time to turn your logs into wood chips without a wood chipper.

Buying a chipper might be a great idea because it’ll give you an easy way to get rid of fallen branches on your property. If you regularly have to clean up branches after storms, then investing in a wood chipper isn’t such a bad idea.

It’s also notable that buying wood chippers won’t be all that difficult. You can find wood chippers on the market that are very reasonably priced.

When you can get a wood chipper for less than $200, it doesn’t make much sense to go through all of the trouble to try to make mulch without one. You know what to do if you’d just prefer not to spend the money, but it’s worth considering buying a wood chipper if you’d like to make mulch easily.

There are many different types of wood chippers on the market that you could look into. You don’t need to buy a very expensive industrial wood chipper to get good results when making wood chip mulch.

Common residential wood chippers can be purchased at basic hardware stores. If you’re interested in seeing what’s out there, then you can always go take a look the next time you need to get something from the hardware store.

Final Thoughts

Making your own wood chip mulch will be tough if you don’t have a chipper that you can utilize. The most practical way to go about doing it is going to be to try to cut the wood into tiny pieces by hand.

This involves using tools such as axes, hammers, and loppers to get the wood chunks as small as you can. It’s not going to be something that you can get done very quickly.

For this reason, it likely makes more sense to just go ahead and buy a wood chipper if you really want to make mulch out of the logs and branches that you have at home. You can find wood chippers on the market that are somewhat smaller that cost less than $200.

Knowing that wood chippers aren’t prohibitively expensive might help you to decide to buy one. If you don’t want to buy a wood chipper, then you can do your best to make your own mulch by hand.

It’ll take some time and you’ll have to exert yourself physically, but you will be able to get things done. Just be careful if you decide to do this because you don’t want to hurt yourself due to trying to do too much at once.

Take regular breaks and be sure to drink plenty of water if you’re going to do things manually. If you really like making your own wood chip mulch, then it might be worth looking into getting a wood chipper in the future.