exactly! i put down 6in. of fresh wood chips every spring around all my trees and shrubs. been doing that for 6 yrs. now. if you dig around my trees , theres a black soil layer 5in. think under the current years wood chips. its also full of earthworms. it does take a lot of browns. 6in. of chips breaks down completely by the following spring. considered mulching again the the fall but don't want to attract voles.
Rachel Yocum wrote:Leaves and shredded paper are also helpful additives, and they will both boost the carbon levels of the overall mixture. The carbon is your organic matter and the future fluffy stuff I find it's good to layer shredded paper and dried leaves on top of the soil surface and then continue layering greens (i.e. manure, kitchen scraps) and browns (i.e. woodchips, more leaves) until you have at least a good 4 inches or so of layering.
The thing I have found is that it takes a lot more carbon (browns) than one might think to get things to compost really nice and fluffy in place. If I mistakenly rely too heavily on greens (i.e. manures, kitchen scraps, fresh chop-and-drop) it seems like it disappears by the end of the first season because it burns up so fast.
As someone else mentioned, moisture is helpful, too. It helps to wet down the layered stuff on top of the soil. Over time, those layers will begin to breakdown and compost together, and they will be able to hold moisture pretty well on their own at that point.
I try to think about it in terms of a forest floor, if that makes sense.
Hopefully, this helps some.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:There are probably poplar trees in your neck of the woods. If there are, or if there are birch, or cottonwoods, or even willow forests, go there to those deciduous groves and scrape away the top layer of drier leaves and get to the area that is blending into soils. It is black rich, and great for gardens. What I do, is bring a large barrel out, and slowly fill it up using a smaller pail. I go to a spot, remove the dry leaves and get into the decomposing layers and soil. I dig an area up around the size of a dinner plate and then put sticks and leaves in the hole and carry on at least 10 feet away and do it again. The forest will heal these little wounds, just as it would if a bear had dug up some grubs there. Anyway, this forest soil is super teeming with life, and is fungi rich for your area.