Last year when I was expanding my garden, I added cardboard and many inches of woodchips on those walkways. A few weeks ago when I was working on prepping the gardens I dug into the inch or so of compost covering the aforesaid walkways. I am now contemplating creating additional walkways where right now I just have roped off areas. I am going to dig down into the walkway areas and add 2x10s to create dug down walkways which I will fill up with woodchips. I can dig out the woodchips to mulch around plants as needed during the growing season and in the fall I will dig it all out and add it to the garden. Finally I will fill it back up with wood chips for the following growing season. This eliminated the need for at least one of my compost piles. Plus the deep roots of the plants can tap into some of the adjactent walkays for additional organic material and moisture.
You are right Mike and for most people that is probably sufficient. I however am not terribly mobile and so most of my working time in the garden is on a little rolling cart. I therefore need well defined pathways through the garden that also must be kept free of plants making excursions through that area or I lose working access. The boards help define the walkways and give me that access. Thanks for your input.
I've done something similar in the past with good results. It's very convenient to have the wood chips in reach when you're in the garden and notice a spot where the mulch layer is getting low & needs topped off.
This year I threw some alfalfa seeds in the paths instead of the chips; as my chip stash is getting low and the trucks haven't been working in this area lately. I'm hoping the alfalfa will serve the same purpose, and I can chop a handful to toss on the beds when needed.
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