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
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?
other than being careful not to smother
the tree roots it is good stuff to have
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, :)
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:
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