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Organic Mulch as a Functional and Decorative Yard Accent

Using Mulch as a Decorative, Functional Accent

Organic mulch offers a number of benefits to home gardeners, including increased moisture retention, easy maintenance, effective weed control, and erosion mitigation. These practical benefits of organic mulch aren’t the only reasons it’s so popular among landscapers and home gardeners, though. Organic mulch also confers aesthetic benefits. Read on to find out how to take advantage of them in any garden or landscape.

How to Choose the Right Mulch

The first thing to consider when adding mulch to a garden or landscape is what kind of trees were used to produce it. Premium hardwood mulch is usually sourced from oak trees. Regular hardwood mulch can be made from the bark or wood of any type of hardwood tree.

Organic mulch is formulated only from natural wood. It doesn’t contain dyes or colorants like most decorative mulches, which makes it perfect for everything from flower beds to food gardens. Choosing a supplier that uses only organic products not treated with chemical additives is a great way to ensure that gardeners won’t be introducing toxins into their soil. Anyone who wants to mulch vegetable beds should seriously consider sticking with organic materials.

Colored Mulches

Not all colored mulches are dyed with chemicals. Organic suppliers use natural ingredients to color their mulch, which means buyers can use it wherever they want without worrying about how it will affect their soil, plants, and health. Here are a few innovative ideas for using natural colored mulch to beautify a landscape:

  • Choose a brown or red mulch to complement brick houses.
  • Use a black or dark brown mulch to create contrast in flower beds.
  • Try a mixture of colors to add visual interest.
  • Cover all bare soil to control erosion.
  • Protect the bases of trees with blonde mulch to create color contrast with trunks.
  • Apply organic mulches directly to soil.

Hardwood vs. Softwood Mulches

Softwood mulches may be just as beautiful as hardwood mulches, but they can alter the pH of the soil. Pine trees, for example, can make the soil more acidic. This impacts the plants grown in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and lawns, so it’s best to stick to hardwood mulches in any areas where plants are grown.

It’s also relevant to note that hardwood mulches usually break down faster than softwood mulches. That’s because most of the fungi that help break down wood thrive in hardwoods. This may sound like a disadvantage, but gardeners know that fungal networks improve soil health and broken down mulch adds organic matter to the soil, especially if it’s full of beneficial fungi. Want to improve the mulch’s appearance without destroying its beneficial fungi? Just rinse the top layer of mulch off using a garden hose.

The Bottom Line

Organic hardwood mulches are much better for the environment than chemically treated or dyed alternatives. They’re also better for garden beds than softwood mulches, since they don’t dramatically alter soil pH. Incorporating mulch into the landscape will be great for both the local ecosystem and the home’s residents since it will beautify the property while simultaneously increasing soil fertility.

Place an online order today, and ask about our spreading and yard cleanup services!

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“Social Distancing” Delivery Update

Best Firewood Dump Truck

DELIVERY UPDATE
We’re delivering orders as usual, but…

Our delivery crew will be practicing “social distancing”
by limiting contact with homeowners.

Starting 3/16/20:

    • You will receive a text message update the day prior to delivery.
    • Wood will be stacked in outdoor locations only, or dumped on driveways. If you have stacking instructions, please let us know.
    • Our crew will not ring doorbells.
    • Orders may be paid by credit card online or with the office.
    • If paying by check, please put in an envelope and tape to your door.
    • Any questions, please call the office.

Thank you and stay safe!

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Locally Sourced Firewood Delivered to Naperville IL

Best Firewood Lot Picture

At Best Firewood and Mulch, we locally source our firewood, then cut, split, and store it on-site. Need firewood delivery to Naperville? We deliver and stack!

Seasoned Firewood

When wood is freshly cut, it is referred to as “green” wood. This type of wood isn’t what should be burned for heating a home. All firewood has to age, which is commonly referred to as curing or “seasoning” the wood. If you try to use logs from a freshly cut tree in your fireplace, you’ll have to deal with dangerous creosote build-up and lots of smoke, risking chimney fires. That’s why all our firewood is already aged or kiln-dried.

Firewood Delivery and Stacking

We supply the Naperville, IL area with high-quality, seasoned firewood. And we not only deliver, our team can stack firewood for you too! For an additional fee per cord, we’ll stack your firewood order at ground level. In the winter, just keep a path shoveled for us.

There are some guidelines to follow to ensure that the firewood is placed in the best locations outside your home, so that it can stay dry and continue to season for best burning results.

  • Firewood should be kept up from direct contact with the ground to keep it from drawing moisture. There are various sizes of firewood racks you can purchase from home supply stores, or you can use cement blocks, pallets, or boards to raise the firewood 2-3 inches.
  • Firewood should also be partially or fully protected from the elements. Locating your stacked firewood under an overhang is ideal, but a tarp covering the top of the pile works as well. Don’t cover the sides of the stack, as this keeps air from circulating and inhibits drying (and provides a place for critters to hide too). Keep the stack a few inches away from walls for the same reason.

Order Firewood from the Best

Best Firewood and Mulch has been serving Chicagoland with seasoned firewood since 1982! We stand behind our quality firewood and mulch products and offer easy online ordering.

Check out our delivery area here.

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Are You Enjoying Your Fireplace This Year?

Wood Burning Picture

Many Aurora Residents Enjoy Using Their Homes’ Fireplaces Come Winter

Nothing warms up a cold home more pleasantly than a crackling fire. Homes in Aurora frequently feature fireplaces and wood stoves that see plenty of use throughout the winter. Sellers of high-quality Firewood near Aurora IL make it easy to make the most of such amenities.

More Than Mere Heat

With wintertime highs frequently staying well below freezing, Aurora is a city where staying warm often becomes a top priority. Most homes include heating systems that handle the brunt of the work, but turning on a furnace is not always the only possible response to cold weather.

Houses that feature fireplaces and wood-burning stoves provide occupants with another way to keep warm when temperatures drop outside. Compared to central heating, a fireplace or wood stove will tend to provide heat that is more:

  • Focused. Keeping an entire home at a comfortable temperature can easily mean spending too much on energy bills. Using a fireplace to warm a room that sees a lot of use will often prove more economical. Although it takes a bit of practice, the intensity of a fire can also be adjusted to match the preferences of those around it.
  • Engaging. Relaxing in a fireplace-equipped living room after a great meal can be extremely rewarding. Casually tending to a fire will take a person’s mind off the concerns and stresses of the day and make for a great transition to evening.
  • Appealing. There is nothing especially interesting about warm air blowing out of an HVAC register. A fire burning atop a hearth, though, will always draw appreciative attention. Simply watching logs burn and hearing them crackle will make anyone in the area feel relaxed and content.

Excellent Firewood is Readily Available

For reasons like these and others, many Aurora residents enjoy making use of their own fireplaces and wood stoves every winter. Seasoned Firewood that has been allowed to dry to a state perfect for burning can be obtained from vendors in the area.

Stocking up on high-quality firewood before winter arrives will ensure a comfortable, enjoyable season. Making frequent use of a home’s fireplace or wood-burning stove is an effective way of taking the sting out of winter.

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What to Consider Before Buying Firewood

What to Consider Before Buying Firewood Near Aurora, IL

Few things are more welcoming than a crackling fire on a cold day, which is why many Aurora homes include wood-burning fireplaces. Long-time residents make stocking firewood look easy, but it can be challenging for those who have never purchased wood in the past. Fortunately, it is easy to get it right by following a few simple rules. As long as homeowners have enough storage, choose the right wood, and buy seasoned firewood, they’ll enjoy many cozy evenings in front of their hearths.

Create a Dry Space to Store Wood

Homeowners buying Firewood near Aurora IL for the first time are often tempted to order enough for the winter. That is a good idea if they have plenty of storage, but it could cause problems when space is short. The first thing any homeowner should do is determine how much dry space they have for wood storage. There must be enough room between stacks to allow firewood to dry, otherwise it can rot. Stacking excess wood against the house is not really an option since piles quickly become homes for rodents and insects.

Determine Which Type of Wood Is Best

Homeowners should buy the type of wood that suits their intended use. If customers buying Firewood near Aurora IL intend to cook with it, they might want to choose maples and fruitwoods that add flavor. Dense woods like oak and maple are best for indoor wood stoves and fireplaces. Soft woods such as poplar burn faster. Ash is another wood that burns well. Local suppliers are happy to help customers make the best choice.

Make Sure to Buy Seasoned Wood

Firewood needs to be seasoned, which means it has had time to dry out. Green wood is full of moisture, so it is not a good fireplace or wood stove fuel. Most established suppliers sell seasoned fireplace wood, which is easy to recognize. It has loose bark, is dry to the touch, and has cracks in the ends.

Order wood for a home fireplace or wood stove is not complicated, but there are a few rules that ensure the best results. Buyers should make sure they have adequate storage and then learn what type of wood is best for their needs. They should also choose seasoned wood because it is dry and burns well.

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Why Mulch Is Good For Your Home

The holiday season is here, so many people that own fireplaces are thinking about getting some firewood, which we can happily help with, right to your door. However, while the winter has arrived and homeowners say goodbye to their lawns and gardens for a season as the snow comes, there’s always spring to look forward to planning for. One of the best things you can do for your home’s outlying property, especially if you have a garden and trees, is to consider using mulch. Here are some of the reasons why it helps.

Retain Moisture

Since mulch is essentially a layer of loose material—in this case, wood—that is spread over topsoil, the one thing it is extremely good at doing is keeping the ground moist. Wood is a natural sponge in that it absorbs and holds water for much longer periods than other substances like soil. This means that when it rains, or when a property is watered, mulch can preserve more of the moisture, and this benefits the soil and the plants.

Control Weeds

Mulch can also help to minimize the number of weeds that grow on a property. Weeds need sunlight, but mulch, a layer that sits over the soil, can add an extra shield that prevents some weeds from getting the sunlight they need in the early stages of growth. While other types of weed will still manage to poke out of the topsoil, there will be other varieties that, once blocked by a sufficiently thick layer of mulch, won’t grow at all, helping you to control your weed population during the spring and summer seasons.

Topsoil Preservation

Mulch is also good at protecting the topsoil itself. A layer of mulch doesn’t just retain moisture; it also acts as a physical barrier. Where the blowing of wind would eventually erode the first layer of topsoil or rain might wash some of it way, given enough time, mulch acts as a protective first line of defense that helps to offset these natural forces of erosion, and help the healthy topsoil to retain more of itself and be more productive during the growing season.

Easier To Maintain

When you’re looking for something to add color and fill out the spaces in your yard, mulch is an excellent alternative. Some solutions, like traditional lawn grass, require maintenance during the year, notably, using a lot of water to keep it green and healthy, and mowing it regularly to keep the height in check.

Mulch, on the other hand, comes in a variety of colors, that can help to distinguish the look of your property from others, while at the same time requiring none of that extra maintenance. Once the initial layer of mulch is laid out, you’re done, and only have to periodically replenish it with more if you think it’s starting to look a little thin.

So while you can contact Best Firewood & Mulch this holiday season for the wood to keep your fireplace cheery during this festive time, remember that when it comes time to grow and beautify things on your property, come to us for your mulch needs too.

 

 

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4 Important Tips For Storing Firewood

Whether you have an outdoor fireplace for grilling and parties or an indoor fireplace for warmth and cozy feelings, you’ll need firewood to keep the flame going.  And if you want enough firewood for several fires, you’ll need a place to store the logs you aren’t using.  It’s not very hard to store firewood, but there are a few basic pointers and tips you should remember if you don’t want to run into any problems later on.

  1. Stack Your Firewood Carefully

A good firewood stack needs to follow a few rules.  First, there should be good air circulation throughout the stack, including the center and the bottom.  Air circulation helps the firewood dry out so it’s ready to burn and won’t attract mold or other fungi.  Second, keep the bark side down on the bottom layer to protect the wood from ground moisture.  Third, stack the wood with care so it won’t come tumbling down when you start to remove logs.

  1. Keep The Wood Dry

Wet wood is much harder to burn, plus it can quickly start to rot depending on what manages to get into it.  Both are bad for firewood since wet wood can release more carbon monoxide into the air and rotting wood will release potentially harmful spores.  To keep your wood dry, make sure the firewood pile is under a roof if you can.  If not, you should cover it with a waterproof tarp.  However, the wood still needs to dry out and circulate air, so only cover the top surface with the tarp.

  1. Keep The Wood Away From Your House

No matter where you buy your firewood, chances are the wood spent most of its existence outdoors.  You should continue that by storing your firewood outside and away from the side of your house.  This is because firewood often contains pests and parasites, including dangerous pests like carpenter ants, termites, and old house borers.  Firewood is safe enough indoors when you only bring in what you need for an evening fire, but to keep your house safe you should stack the rest of the wood outside and away from your home.

  1. Keep The Wood Off The Ground

When a tree falls in the forest, it doesn’t take long for mold, fungi, insects, and other creatures to start rotting the wood.  You don’t want that to happen to your firewood, and one important way to prevent that is by stacking your firewood on a platform.  This could be a storage box just for firewood, or it could be a spot on your stone patio away from the dirt.  By keeping your firewood away from the dirt, you’ll keep it away from the insects and other species that would start rotting it.

Of course, it’s also important to choose the right business to get your firewood from.  That’s why many people visit Best Firewood and Mulch.  We offer solid firewood from a variety of tree species that give off great heat and wood smoke when you burn them, so have a look at our online store.

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Heat Your Home This Winter With Firewood

When you live in the northern United States, winter can bring the temperature way down and make it tough to go outside.  On foot the cold will slowly seep into your bones, and in a car the snow and ice make the roads slippery and hard to avoid an accident.  That’s why many Americans spend more of their time indoors next to a roaring fire.  Not every modern home comes equipped with a real fireplace, but those who do can enjoy what it’s like to have a real wood fire keeping you cozy during a long winter night.

Enjoy The Heat

A nice wood fire at home can really heat a room up, especially if you can close a door and keep the heat concentrated.  When you spend your time by a real fire, you can turn down the thermostat for the rest of your home and still feel warm and cozy.  Doing this could even save you a few dollars on your heating bill.

Watch The Dancing Flames

 

Almost every human is fascinated by fire to one degree or another.  The way the flames dance without ever repeating themselves, the warm glow and colors they create, and even the sound of crackling and snapping wood can hold a person’s attention.  This is only natural since once upon a time humans needed fire to survive and spent a long part of the night sitting around campfires.  Because of this natural fascination, a real wood fire can entertain a family surprisingly well, and it’s much better at doing so than any fake fire or gas fire.

 

Bring The Family Together

 

Between the heat and the flames, setting a wood fire in your fireplace is a great way to bring your whole family together.  You can sit around the fire and eat dinner, talk about your days, or watch a movie together.  A married couple can curl up together under the same blanket, or your young child might like sharing a blanket with their parent after a long day.  An open fire is also a chance to teach your kids about how to safely set and maintain a wood fire.

 

Cook Something Old-Fashioned

 

Depending on the size of your fireplace, you may be able to use it to roast hotdogs or marshmallows on sticks.  Something else you can do is let the fire burn down and then put a Dutch oven on the coals and use them to slowly cook your dinner or dessert for the evening.  Dutch oven recipes include some warm and hearty meals like stew and peach cobbler, just the thing to have to warm yourself up on a cold winter night.

 

While you can find apps and videos, gas-powered fireplaces, and fake fireplaces, nothing can match the full experience of a wood fire during a winter evening.  However, first you’ll need a good supply of dried and seasoned firewood ready for your fireplace.  If you live in our service area, be sure to order your firewood from Best Firewood and Mulch and make the most of your fireplace this winter.

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Give Your Landscape Design An Upgrade With Mulch

We have all heard the saying “first impressions last.” As we grow older, we realize that this may be true. First impressions tell other people a lot about something. Homes are the same. Most people, if not all, tend to find ways to improve their homes through various beautification projects. This practice is not solely focused on the interior but also the exterior of one’s home.

The first thing people see when going to another person’s home is the front yard. It says a lot about the residents. A beautiful lot can make a lasting impression on others. But, it is not just for them. It can also be a relaxing space for the homeowner.

One concern that many individuals have when planning their projects is the cost. Not all people have a lot of money to spare. Sometimes, daily expenses can already be too much. Contrary to what many people think, upgrading your landscape design does not have to be expensive.

Applying The Mulch Magic

One way of giving your property a modern and well-groomed look is using mulch. This simple addition to your yard can add aesthetic value. You can choose the kind of mulch that would complement your home’s exterior colors. Mulch can also make the place look less bare. Another advantage of using mulch is it is easy to apply. The activity is not time-consuming and does not require you to buy specialized tools.

Starting The Project This Fall

If you are unsure about mulching during the fall, you do not have to worry. You can mulch if you want to. All you need is to know how to do it properly to make sure you get the desired effect.

 

  1. Wear protective gloves to avoid splinters.
  2. Use 2-4 inch coverage.
  3. Remove weeds, leaves, and grass.
  4. Avoid putting mulch near the base of a tree. Use the technique known as the doughnut hole.
  5. Choose your mulch wisely. Use only high-quality mulch to ensure good results.

Reasons To Mulch

There are a lot of reasons why you should consider doing this. Aside from adding appeal to your lawn, mulching is highly beneficial.

 

  • Mulch retains the moisture of soil and prevents it from drying out.
  • It suppresses the growth of weeds.
  • It serves as insulation from cold or hot weather.
  • Mulching prevents soil erosion.
  • It improves the nutrient content of your soil.

 

Mulching is not a new gardening technique. Records show that early civilizations used this technique to hinder the growth of weeds. Through the years, people have discovered new mulch sources.

If you wish to try upgrading your landscape design without spending too much money, you can use mulch. We can help with your mulching needs. We have a variety of choices for your landscape needs. We also offer installation services, so you can relax while we take care of your place. Contact Best Firewood and Mulch and find out how we can help you.