I nearly killed myself with mulch a couple weekends ago. Yes, you heard me. A few weekends ago Adam and I decided to finally tackle all the dirt in the backyard and cover our expanse of flowerbeds with mulch. After spending all summer putting it off because we thought we couldn't afford it, we finally did a little Googling and wouldn't you know it, our city gives it away for free! So with the promise of free mulch for a little extra effort, we dedicated ourselves to covering the mess on a Saturday.
Here is what we were working with before. Click the image to see the full size panorama image (this is only a small portion of what we needed to cover!).
Nothing horrible, but there are just a lot of sparsely planted bushes and plants that look a lot more spread out with all that dirt. Plus, the dirt made it easy for weeds to flourish, and any time it rained that meant Oly and Stella went right for the mud. Because they hate me. It wasn't horrible, but it was time for it to go.
The main issue we faced when deciding to fill all the flowerbeds with mulch is that all we have is a Jeep and my Jetta. Neither being the ideal mulch transport vehicle. Being the cheap asses we are though, we folded the Jeep seats down, threw down some tarps and got to work. This is what it looks like when you fill your Jeep with mulch. This was our first trip too, so we were still trying to keep all the mess contained. HA! That quickly went out the window about 3 trips in.
And so that was my day. Fill the car with smelly, decomposing, mildewy, dusty mulch. Drive the five minutes back to the house. Shovel mulch into wheelbarrow, dump mulch in flower beds. Smooth around flowerbeds. Rinse, lather, repeat all day.
By our final two rounds of mulch I was dizzy I was so exhausted. My back muscles were screaming, but we weren't stopping. We were going to cover ALL the dirt so help us god and we'd finally be done. And wouldn't you know it, after hours of literally back breaking work, we really were done. Yards upon yards of free mulch had been put in our flowerbeds. A job I'd wanted to do all summer was actually finished.
(Click the panorama image to see it in full size for all the mulch glory)
Now, the reason the mulch nearly killed me is I woke up at 3am on Sunday feeling like my back was on fire. Then and there I suddenly realized I may have pushed myself a weeeeeee bit too far. Yes, I did so much yard work I actually sprained my back. Bed bound for a full day, unable to find a comfortable position, breaking out my knee surgery drugs I was in so much pain. All for the damn flowerbeds.
Even better? Turns out if you're going to lug around that much mulch, you should probably also wear a face mask. If you don't you'll contract an awesome cough lasting about a week affectionately known as "Farmer's Lung".
At least the dogs were happy.