Turning Under Redwood Bark Chips

Last year I planted an Asian garden in my front yard, actually did just 1/2 the yard. Heavy clay soil, rototilled about 8" of amend into the soil, then went down 12" and re-tilled it again. The 1/2 I planted came out excellent, even put in a little pond with a bridge over it.
After I finished all the planting I spread large redwood bark chips to keep down the weeds and conserve water/prevent runoff but the front part, that I didn't plant, I used small bark chips as weed control. It worked fine.
Its now time to start on this years planting and was wondering if I could just turn under the redwood chips or do I have to rake them off and bag 'em up for use end of season. The local people I have talked to around here (Northern Calif) don't seem to know so I thought I would toss it out here.
Thanks
Jack
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Is there a reason to not leave them there or just add more on top?
Fito
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Just till 'em in. They will help to break up the heavy clay and improve the soil structure by increasing pore space. Because they are redwood, they won't decompose very rapidly but they certainly are not worth the bother of raking off and reusing. Add any other soil amendments as desired/needed and till it all together. Apply a new layer of mulch when you are finished planting.
pam - gardengal
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