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Using Wood Chips in the Garden

| 4/26/2020 5:00:00 PM

Pile Of Wood Chips

Last spring, I spent hours helping dig raised beds in a 80-by-130-foot community garden plot. The weeds were fierce and although the walking paths were nice, they became overrun by overzealous grasses of the northern Midwest. Oh, and don’t forget the mud puddles from the above-average rainfall last spring.

There are obvious benefits to the raised garden bed method but it made me wonder about other methods I could incorporate into my own home garden this year, back in Kansas after living in Thailand and a stint in Fargo, N.D.

A gardening community group on Facebook, Wichita Black Growers, is where I was reintroduced to the wood chip mulch method. A post from the administrator of the group included some photos and the multitude of benefits him and his family were reaping from using the wood-chips.

Cost savings sparked my interest. I found that although I knew adding wood chips to the garden would provide nutrients, I learned a great deal more about what these wood chips can do over time. Wood chips can allow you to:

Save on your water bill. Wood chips will slow the process of water evaporation and prevent loss of water from the soil.

4/28/2020 7:17:47 AM

Wood chips do take nitrogen from your soil. they break down slowly. Everything that decomposes requires a carbon nitrogen ratio. Wood chips are very high in carbon. If you plant intensively there is little or no room for weeds. you will have to weed once, but if you weed at strategic times the plants you are growing take up all the sunlight creating a living mulch. If you don't use your bed space well the weeds will teach you how. Radical Regenerative Gardening and Farming.

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