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Use Pallets As A Low Cost Alternative To Standard Wood Mulch

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Mulch made from old hardwood pallets provide an inexpensive alternative to traditional wood mulch. Making mulch from the pallets also saves them from the landfill, giving new life to items that would otherwise be wasted. Before opting for pallet mulch, though, make sure it will work for your garden needs.


Not all pallets are created equal. Older pallets may contain copper arsenate, which is now banned due to its toxicity. The pallets may also have undergone other chemical treatments to make them pest and rot resistant. When purchasing pallet mulch, verify that the dealer doesn't mulch old pallets that contain copper arsenate. Chemically-treated pallets aren't usually a concern if you aren't using the mulch in an edible garden. Since wood mulch is primarily used around perennials and ornamentals, this isn't usually a problem.


Most pallets are made from hardwood so they can withstand the rigors of shipping. Mulch made from hardwood is extremely durable and breaks down slowly, so you won't need to renew the mulch as often. Pallets made from softwood, such as pine, are also suitable as mulch, although you may need to replenish the mulch annually. Installing a layer of landscape fabric between the mulch and the soil can slow down decomposition and further prevent weed growth. This may extend the longevity of the mulch application.


Pallet mulch is suitable for any garden bed that doesn't contain edibles. You can spread it over the soil in flower beds or beneath trees and shrubs. When applied in a 2-inch thick layer, the mulched pallets will keep down weeds, help maintain soil temperature, and trap moisture so it isn't lost to evaporation. Mulch also gives the garden a more finished look. Even wood mulch eventually decomposes. You will need to replenish the mulch layer every one to two years to maintain the depth. Raking it between replenishment will keep it smooth and nice looking.

In some cases, pallets can harbor artillery fungus. This fungus isn't toxic and doesn't affect plants, but it can leave unsightly stains on wood siding. If fungus is a concern, avoid placing the mulch right up against your home or around wooden deck posts.

Some consider the various colors in the aged and weathered pallet wood attractive when used as a mulch. If you prefer a more consistent color, many pallet dealers offer dyed mulch that emulates redwood or cedar in color. These dyes pose no hazard to humans, pets, or plants.

For more information, contact Brampton Pallet Custom Pallets or a similar company.