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wood chips

 
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lots and loads of wood chips!! fellow i know is bringing me loads of wood chips and am undecided as too how too utilize them. was thinking a huglekulture type of garden bed but read that chips did not work so well.
 
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Location: Maisons, Languedoc, France
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Jack,
Do you know how fresh they are, what I mean is are they from recently felled trees or from aged wood?

If they are from freshly felled trees then the Canadian/ French system of Bois Raméal Fragmenté might be a good idea. Basically it is a way of using fresh wood chips to recreate a woodland floor type soil on poor land. See http://fr.ekopedia.org/Bois_Ram%C3%A9al_Fragment%C3%A9 (if you speak a bit of French) Basically lay them over the soil as a mulch- 7 to 20 cms deep (Sorry forgotten what that is in inches). Over time they compost down to form a beautiful forest floor type soil. You have to be careful with nitrogen loss, I tend to lay a bed of compost first. It acts both as a water conserver, very important here in the Languedoc, and really builds up the organic content of the soil.

If they are old wood chippings then they can be mixed in slowly with the compost mix, used in a dry loo, or used to keep a footpath weed free- for a while.

On note I would say is how were they made? If they are say from a chainsaw that uses a fossil fuel lube rather than a vegetable oil lube then they are a problem as they will not compost down well- and will contain all sorts of things you win't want in your compost/garden. Woodmill waste are pretty good as they throw out a lot less oil than a chainsaw- a good old fashioned chipper doesn't throw out any.

Good Look and Bon Weekend
Pete
 
pollinator
Posts: 11804
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's an excellent film about wood chips: http://backtoedenfilm.com/
 
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I built a water heater with a pile of woodchips. basically a Jean Pain system but without the biogas digester in the middle. worked a charm. heated water to 160 Fahrenheit. I just wasn't very thoughtful in my placement, and we didn't end up using it much. now it's a pile of great mulch for the garden that I'm slowly using up.
 
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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some ways I have used wood chips are..buried, mulch, paths, mushroom substrate..etc
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