A gardening trowel in a bed of mulch

Mulching provides a layer of moisture, reduces the growth of weeds and protects your plants from the harsh weather.

Mulching uses yard material like wood chips and leaves to protect soil, conserve moisture and beautify landscapes.

What Can Be Used As Mulch?

You can use almost any plant material, including:

  • Wood chips
  • Autumn leaves
  • Dry grass clippings
  • Wooden stir sticks
  • Small branches and twigs
  • Straw

How to Mulch

Getting started is easy:

  1. Remove existing plants from the area you are planning to mulch. If this is an area of lawn, mow your grass very short or remove the lawn with a sod cutter.
  2. Lay a barrier over the area to suppress future weeds. Cardboard and newspaper make good barriers.
  3. Spread a thick layer of mulch on top. We recommend 10-15 centimetres (4-6 inches).
  4. Monitor the area over the growing season. Pull any unwanted grass or weeds.

Free Wood Chips at Ambleside Eco Station

Wood chips are available at Ambleside Eco Station in spring, summer and fall. They are made from disease–free trees on City property and make an excellent mulch. 

AddressAmbleside Eco Station, 14710 Ellerslie Road SW

Please note: we cannot guarantee availability of wood chips during your visit, as availability varies throughout the season.


Wood chips are self-serve. Please bring your own tools and supplies to load them into your vehicle.

Bring your own:

  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Pails, containers, and/or bags
  • Tarps to secure your load

Why Mulch?

Mulching builds healthy soil and helps to:

  • Reduce weed growth so you spend less time weeding 
  • Hold moisture so less water is needed during hot dry weather
  • Provide nutrients to soil as the mulch slowly breaks down
  • Protect soil from hot summer days and cold winter nights 
  • Reduce waste by keeping grass, leaves and branches out of the waste system

You can mulch anywhere around your property, like around trees, edges of your landscape, plant beds and vegetable gardens.

A plant in mulch.