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Wood chips are our friends!  RSS feed

 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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Wood chips are our favorite thing. For the past month the utility company has been cutting the right-of-way lines and making a huge mess. The good part about this activity is the wood chips. We opened up gates and made room for dumping the chips and now have enough chips for a while. We love wood chips. We use them in the garden beds, on hiking trails, bike paths, roads - almost anywhere. We cannot get enough wood chips.

Ask the local utility company in your area about wood chips or ask tree companies. Many will dump chips for free and it is well worth it.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9744
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I'm a big fan of wood chips as well! We also had the power company clear the lines and the clearing service left a huge pile of chips for us. Then we had more trees cleared for rain harvesting earthworks and ended up with another enormous pile of chips!

Some wood chip videos:

http://backtoedenfilm.com/

Amazing Urban Permaculture Food Forest Garden http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXEcjWE_Xjs

SuperSize Your Vegetables with Wood Chips & Rock Dust http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEkFFRjDkvs&list=UUUnFheTbVpASikm0YPb8pSw&index=20&feature=plcp

My new chips:


 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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Thank you for the links. We accidentally discovered the joys and benefits of wood chips. When we first bought our property (2001) it was badly damaged with half dead and falling trees. We hired a tree crew to come in with chipper and thus, lots of wood chips! Since we were on a tight budget, we used the wood chips for many projects and it turned out to be a wise decision. Wood chips are awesome.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9744
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
186
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So far I've mainly used the chips in my kitchen garden, making paths 6 inches or more deep of chips. The entire garden is buried wood (like hugelkultur, but not a "hugel"!), so with the chips there's literally a few tons of wood in the garden.



 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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I enjoyed looking at your project photos. What are you going to do with all the bottles? We put some many wood chips in the garden paths that I am wondering maybe I should dig them up and toss it in the planting beds and then put raw wood chips in the paths. Might be too much digging though.
 
Ken Miller
Posts: 26
Location: Vashon, WA
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Here are a couple of other links that help explain what wood chips (Ramial Chipped Wood) do for the soil.

http://www.mofga.org/Default.aspx?tabid=700

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_org_research/id/69/

From what I have seen and read, it makes sense to use chips. I now am spreading them on my beds for next season.

Ken
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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Thank you for the links. We have started a link list and will add those. This year we are trying something new and not even pulling up the roots of the old plants in some beds. We just cut them off at the ground, put another layer of newspaper down and then more wood chips. We did it with one bed last year and it worked fine. The soil seems to be improving with very little work from us but to haul the chips to the bed.
 
monty ali
Posts: 52
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I made my own wood chips using a garden shredder and branches from some trees we cut down. the shredder eventually packed up but the chips have been composting away nicely really good for my soil. I want to get hold of a load more but where do i start in the uk?
 
Ken Miller
Posts: 26
Location: Vashon, WA
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Here is another you can add to your list.

http://www.ipcp.org.br/References/Solos/MadeiraRamial/doc59b.pdf

http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/529.pdf

These studies began back in the 70's at Laval University. Wonder why it wasn't made known more? There is one more,but it seems you have to register. "Ramial Chipped Wood: the clue to a sustainable fertile soil" by G. Lemieux and D. Germain. Publication # 128 December 2000.

 
Ken Miller
Posts: 26
Location: Vashon, WA
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I found it, just had to do some digging.

http://docs.docstoc.com/pdf/1939597/855ec3aa-996b-4758-8278-06f671d023bb.pdf
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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Nice - thank you for the links! I need to get busy and post links on the Meanwhile Facebook page. Sounds like a good winter project. Thank you.
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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i've been using wood chips for years too, Love them! the black soil they create is incredible, anytime i need to make a potting or seed starting mix now i have a ready supply of humus all over. in addition to getting chips delivered by the local tree service(s) they also bring me unsplit firewood and fulll length logs when i want. im still milling a giant 4' diameter hickory,its a beast.

another great resource if you're in areas with landscapers is to take their leaves in the fall for mulch and grass clippings for mulch or compost. fresh clippings are the ultimate compost activator for me.
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Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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With the grass clippings...do you worry about the possible chemicals on them? Are they able to confirm cuttings don't have chemicals on them?
 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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One other thing...I noticed in your pictures that you look like you are in an urban enviroment, as am I. How do your neighbors respond to the piles of treasures that you are receiving? I am going to be starting to really focus on improving my soil this spring and have thought about doing the same as you and contacting local companies for organic materials that they just consider as waste.
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 124
Location: Western North Carolina
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Great photos! Thanks for sharing them. The wood chips rot down to awesome black soil. Thanks for the links and photos.
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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Jen Shrock wrote:One other thing...I noticed in your pictures that you look like you are in an urban environment, as am I. How do your neighbors respond to the piles of treasures that you are receiving? I am going to be starting to really focus on improving my soil this spring and have thought about doing the same as you and contacting local companies for organic materials that they just consider as waste.


the landscaper i get from uses a little fertilizer in the beginning of the season and thats it, i tend to get the clippings later in the season anyway so thats all been washed through.
yes this is residential suburbia, my neighbors aren't a problem, 1 side is a mess, other is 89 years old and also an avid gardener.i get it cleaned up in a day or 2 tops in any case...although the hickory tree im cutting now
has taken forever, its nearly petrified !
there are more shots on the facebook page of more loads and how i've distributed it around the yard
 
Ken Miller
Posts: 26
Location: Vashon, WA
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Nice looking piles of chips and leaves. Are you being affected with the storm?

I live on an island in Puget Sound of Washington State and we have a temperate climate. My garlic is coming up very nice in the wood chips. They have a deep green color and look strong!
 
Matthew Fallon
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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Ken Miller wrote:Nice looking piles of chips and leaves. Are you being affected with the storm?

I live on an island in Puget Sound of Washington State and we have a temperate climate. My garlic is coming up very nice in the wood chips. They have a deep green color and look strong!


thanks' . my area only got about a foot, roads got cleared quickly, it's raining now and melting much of it,temps are going into 40s this week. out east and north got hit harder and are still dealing with unplowed roads .
i am curious how my garlic will fair , i have most of it heavily mulched .the tops are about 8" tall so are all buried now. guess we'll find out come harvest time!

heres the largest load i had, around 15-20 yards,
to date i think i've taken on about 50 yards just in woodchips, quite a bit for a 1/4 acre lot in the burbs!
woodchips3.jpg
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Did you see how Paul cut 87% off of his electric heat bill with 82 watts of micro heaters?
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