Very quick post here. Having received a driveway-load of wood chips from a local tree service, and knowing that it’s largely of the cedar-Thuja-Douglas-fir variety, I googled to find out if it was safe to use as garden mulch now, or should I pile it up in an enormous mountain in the backyard waiting for a year of composting.
Well, Linda Chalker-Scott (my favourite expert from Washington State U) comes through again. Here’s a thread from almost 5 years ago that answers my question to a T. And further, LCS’s article on use on vegetable beds. Now my own minimal experience last year with wood chips on the potato bed was that they were hard to keep just on the top when it came time to harvest the potatoes. So they got all mixed up in the soil. I thought at the time that was a bad thing, but maybe not so much??…
(And about the Garden Rant thread, remember that not all the comments are completely authoritative. Read with discretion.)
Bottom line seems to be: make sure the soil and plants are moist, put down fresh chipped/shredded mulch, and don’t worry about the acids, the oils, the nitrogen deficiency, the manganese build-up that others have warned against.
I’m going to continue this “research”, particularly to see what it says about wood chips vs bark mulch. Stay tuned, and comment with your own experiences or questions.
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