I have never worked with wood chips before; so I ask your advice.
I had long ago mentioned to my neighbor that I needed something that is
low maintenance to cover my both flat and hilly but always weedy lawn
since I haven't been maintaining it well; and he kindly offered a few
truckloads of freshly chipped pine wood chips earlier this week:
One question is how much lawn will this much wood chip typically cover?
About the only tools I have to spread it around are shovels, rakes, and a
What I need to cover is a few hundred feet of this type of "lawn" (the
term "lawn" is used loosely, as you can see from the photo):
So, my basic question is HOW do I determine how much this can cover,
and what would you recommend for how thick I should make it and what
preparation should I do to prevent the chips from running off in the rain?
On Sat, 26 Oct 2013 07:55:57 +0000, Danny D'Amico wrote:
Googling, I found that each truckload was probably something like 5 cubic
yards, so I have roughly 15 cubic yards of these pine wood chips.
That web site also says one truckload covers about 625 square feet at 3
inches deep. So, I guess I can cover 625x3=~1800 square feet.
I'll google for how we're supposed to keep the chips on the ground on
slopes, in the rain, and in the wind - but any advice you have from your
experience would be welcome, as always.
On Sat, 26 Oct 2013 07:55:57 +0000 (UTC), Danny D'Amico
You are asking for trouble. The wood chips will invite bugs,
termites, mice, and it will rot in time too. Some will erode, blow
away, wash away.
Look for some sort of low growing ground cover. It will keep the
dirt in place, look better, need little to no care.
Could you suggest a few things?
I've got a couple of mature apple trees in the backyard, in
an area that's shady in summer. The grass doesn't seem to
want to grow there (never really did). The soil there
doesn't seem to be that great, in any case.
I was wondering if some kind of clover might work there.
Any other suggestions?
There is some clover and also different forms of sedum. You may want
to visit one of the local nurseries to see what they recommend for
Or find one here
Why do you want to cover your lawn with wood chips? It won't last. It
won't look good. It will cause erosion. Most of the weeds will grow through
it. It will make mowing difficult.
What are you thinking? This is not a low maintenance idea.
A few hundred SQUARE feet, or a hundred by __? Might work if the hilly
part is not too steep, but then what? Weeds will grow through them and
mowing will be more difficult. It would be far better, IMO, to plant
something other than grass and then mulch with the wood chips. If you
planted shrubs and perennials and kept the area mulched there would be
far less work.
We bought a home last fall that had about 75x100' lawn in back yard. It
was either buy a riding mower or put the money into perennial flowers
and shrubs/small trees. We are well on our way to reducing the amount
of mowing (about 20%). We have a septic field to work around, but I
have a yard full of flowers, increasing privacy from shrubs, less work,
and more places to put leaves and grass clippings. We usually mow with
the mulcher, but grass clippings are wonderful mulch in flower beds to
keep weeds down.
I used shredded cypress mulch in Florida in shrub beds...it was great
for keeping weeds down (not completely eliminating), preserves moisture
in the bed, and easy to clean even with leaf blower. If watered and
compacted, it stayed in place very nicely. I would never use bark
chips, lava rock, or pine needles for mulch.
Your local extension service can probably recommend native flowers or
other landscaping for the area more suitable than grass or plain chipped
Biggest pieces of info are missing -- where is this located, what is the
rest of the lawn/yards, how much slope/wind is actually present, what's
intended as a long-term result and on and on and on...
Iff'en this is a small problem area on a urban lawn I'm w/ the others
it's probably _a_bad_idea_ (tm); if you've rural property in some parts
of the country it might possibly be a reasonable alternative if there's
nothing else planned. It's just not possible to know anything
The lawn is in sad shape. It's grass that hasn't had a drop of water from
rain since sometime around May, and won't get any for another month or
Sprinklers are sporadic (only work manually - gotta fix that but don't
know how yet).
never rains for most of the year here, and we all have wells, so, I
consider it a primo waste of water to water something that can't grow
without artificial watering.
It's rural. Nobody will see it unless/until they walk onto my property.
Nobody is within earshot.
On Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:55:57 AM UTC-7, Danny D'Amico wrote:
Danny, I noticed part of the problem is a 45 degree slope. Terracing that p
ortion wouldn't be too difficult unless the ground is iron hard, and you co
uld make a very attractive "hillside" by planting each terrace with either
tough flowers or bushes, or ground cover.
On Sat, 26 Oct 2013 13:27:37 -0700, Higgs Boson wrote:
I'm all for low level ground cover that spreads on its own.
But, unfortunately, I don't have a green thumb.
I failed miserably with this one, for example:
Some cute gal in the nursery talked me into this stuff, which, she
explained, would take over the entire hillside.
Well, it stayed put. Didn't move a micron, whatever it is. :(
On Saturday, October 26, 2013 6:45:47 PM UTC-7, Danny D'Amico wrote:
I couldn't identify it. Curious. Anybody know?
Speaking of miserable failures, I have to admit one of my own. After I had
a huge, ancient hedge taken out --generating a truly awesome amount of roo
ts -- I created a charming area in its place (pats self on back). The cool
part was that I hardly had to buy any new specimen-size plants, largely uti
lizing plants from around the garden and patio which had suffered for decad
es in pots. Free at last, they're very happy!
But I run on: To make a path to the side gate, rather than do the conventi
onal stepping stones, I bought an expensive flat of Dymondia, which I had s
een planted around the local library -- individual plants spreading over ti
me to create a creating a uniform no-care low-growing area.
I THOUGHT I prepared each hole properly, but only a few plants survived.
Eventually I had to admit this wasn't happening, so bought another flat. M
y neighbor sent over his worker to dig up the area -- I didn't ask! - he of
fered! So I hope to hell this new batch is happy in its fluffy new home, e
nriched with worm castings and compost.
So amigo, you are not alone!
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