Wood Chips Ahoy

I have a section of the yard in full shade, a bit of English Ivy had grown there poorly (Atlanta 7b Piedmont) and too much Wysteria. It's currently cleared.
So, I've got a notice the power company is trimming in the area and they are "giving" away dump trucks full of wood chips. It would be mostly hardwoods here.
Can I cover my useless ground with them? Will I regret this? What about the long term end result?
j
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j wrote:

other than being careful not to smother the tree roots it is good stuff to have handy.
the more finely it is ground the easier it is to break down in the compost pile or to use it in clay to help break up the soil. add the right amount of a nitrogen source and some dirt and water to moisten and that's a good use of it. in time finished compost. :)
if you'd like a more natural effect you can dig some random trenches and fill them in with wood chips, and then use the dirt here or there to cover and pile old fallen logs around or a stump or two and mosses and leaves or whatever else you can scrounge up in the way of forest litter. that way you are creating a mixed habitat for all sorts of creatures. would be fun to set up and then monitor for species as they move in. or even add species as the area gets settled and perks for a bit...
otherwise, we use wood chips in several places and quite deeply too. the raccoons, skunks, etc come through once in a while and stir things up looking for worms and other bugs. mushrooms pop up as it breaks down. all good to us. in the end we take up the bottom layer that is mostly digested and use that in gardens that need more organic matter. when the top layer gets too thin we hope for finding more.
this past spring i dumped a few gallons of water from washing morels in several places and it will be interesting to see if they will grow and in which locations.
good luck, :)
songbird
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On 7/12/2011 2:25 AM, songbird wrote:

Well, I wasn't expecting such and elegant and enticing ode to wood chips! I'm sold.

I have a fondness for mosses and liverworts. And old logs with giant fungi, they never last long though.
and leaves or whatever

It's suicidal here for anything a cat might catch.

I'll do a little experimenting. I'll sheet mulch (newsprint) some of this before I lay down the wood chips and let the rest be natural. We'll see how much direct contact with soil microbes contributes, the C/N ratio of newsprint is so high it should be a good barrier.
Something here on the Nitrogen cycle:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle

Thanks!
Jeff

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On 7/11/2011 8:37 PM, j wrote:

I have a pile from maybe 3 years ago that I recently dug into. It's like black gold, almost as nice as the mushroom soil. The plants love it.
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