*This is NOT a sponsored post- I just wanted to share our experience with you!*
Over the winter, I stared out the window to our backyard and imagined what I wanted it to look like. I’d seen an ad for ChipDrop, a service that connects arborists with people wanting wood chips. We have quite a few areas where we needed mulch, from our front flower beds to around the kids swing set to by the pool pump. We were intimidated by the massive amount of wood chips the site said we could get, and we hesitated.
Then over the spring, we decided to give it a go. Creating an account and signing up on their website was easy, and I hung a little sign on our fence because things often get mis-delivered (our mailbox is across the street, and I blame that for the confusion) and 20 cubic yards of wood chips is a lot to move.
We put our request in, and then we waited. And waited. And waited. We began to second guess our request; maybe we shouldn’t have said no black walnut chips, or accepted more logs. So we went back after a month and altered our request to eliminate the no black walnut and accept a few more logs. All in all, we waited about six weeks. However, this was during spring 2020, when the pandemic was first beginning and everything was slowing down. The only downside to our wait is that we had to park in the street, since we wanted the chip drop as close to the backyard as possible, and I worried about frustrating our neighbors.
Here’s our before photo:
We wanted to put wood chips around the swing set and garden beds to separate that space from the rest of the yard. The goal was to limit weeds and grass trying to poke through the raised beds, and mowing around the swing set is the biggest pain. I was hoping the wood chips would also dissuade the dogs from doing their business over there, but while it has minimized the dog poop near the swing set, it has not eliminated it.
Our Chip Drop arrived on a rainy Friday afternoon. Our arborist called ten minutes prior to arriving, confirming we still wanted the wood chips. I responded so enthusiastically I made the arborist laugh. Then he arrived with a big truckload of wood chips:
Our kids were as excited as we were…though this would wane through the coming days as they helped cart and spread it.
We set to work, loading up the wheelbarrow and spreading the mulch around. In hindsight, we would’ve put a barrier down between the grass and the wood chips. We thought the wood chips would kill the grass, but we have a clover problem and those suckers can apparently even pop up through four inches of mulch. We’d planned on putting cardboard down, but just didn’t have enough to cover the whole area.
We used brick pavers we already had to delineate between the mulched area and the yard. Also, that tiny orange wheelbarrow was just the kids’ one; we also have a massive black one that holds loads that we were also using but isn’t pictured (it is in the before photo, if you look near the swing set).
We’re really happy with the finished product:
Most shocking of all was that we could’ve used even more wood chips! We used all of our wood chips in this one area, and just barely had enough to finish. We plan on doing another chip drop in the fall/winter, so we can replenish this area and hopefully add some in the other areas we wanted wood chips, as well.
We really enjoyed our chip drop experience. We were able to transform our yard into a more manageable and enjoyable space, and we didn’t spend a single penny to do so. We thankfully had the pavers already (and enough to finish the perimeter, it simply isn’t photographed yet).
If you’re interested in doing a chip drop, I highly recommend viewing their videos and reading their FAQ first. You can find that here.
- Hang a sign to show where you want your chip drop.
- Have a border ready to install with your chips to contain them in the area where you want them.
- Put a ground cover barrier between the chips and grass, if covering grass.
- Have a great shovel and wheelbarrow for transport.
- Be prepared to wait, keeping the area where you want your chips dropped clear.