I tried, I really tried to be patient and thorough and carefully dig and pull out the weeds that were consuming my garden. But my gardening time has been in short supply in the last few weeks and I had a looming deadline--I'd invited my family over for lunch for Mother's Day. It seemed like everytime I got a substantial patch of ground weeded, I turned my back for a day or two and when I checked back, the weeds had all returned in even greater numbers. It was time to get serious.
So last Thursday I called a green waste recycling company in S.F. and asked them to haul over 4 cubic yards of mulch and 1 cubic yard of compost. It arrived on Friday and was neatly dumped in two piles in my driveway. I spent Saturday hauling the mulch bucket by bucket (because I don't have a wheelbarrow) from the driveway into the yard, where I spread it out over several layers of wet newspaper, smothering the weeds underneath. I mulched the largest bed and have hardly made a dent in the mulch pile. By the time I get everything else mulched, I'll probably still have enough to fill my compost bin and some more left over (to save or give away). The compost that was delivered will be used to build two raised beds on top of the mulch for vegetables.
The cost for all the mulch and compost was $80. (Actually, the mulch and compost were free--the $80 was for the delivery.) I know I saved money over buying the mulch bag by bag from Home Depot, although it would have been nicer still if I could have found a tree trimming company that would have been willing to deliver their wood chips free (none of them wanted to come to Alameda). I seem to be spending money on the garden as though I actually have it to spend! But I think I need to rein it in now for a little while until my cash flow improves. I should add a new slogan to my business card: "Will Work for Plants."