Sorry for the seemingly divergent topics. I'm new here and new to permaculture and new to having actual land in which to grow (just moved to Minnesota .58 acres from a small enclosed urban condo in Seattle). I need help in so many ways...
To be as short as possible--
Have an eroding muddy slope with various huge pits in it. Trying to stop erosion and fill a bit. Got a "smart" idea to fill with tons of old logs and wood chips (maybe 6 inches deep) from recent stump grinding of several dying box elders real close to our house. Topped with soil, covered with staked burlap and position several old logs to slow run off and anchor burlap, threw tons of crimson clover seeds all over in hopes of a cover crop that will hopefully hold it all until we have some money for terracing etc.
So I do all this and my husband starts reading about large piles of wood chips spontaneously combusting and termites and homes for rodents and decides to wood chips are too deep and may smell or catch fire etc....
I no NOTHING about any of this except my observations in nature and some ideas taken from soil erosion prevention papers I've read online.
BTW..it's a mostly sunny spot but clay soil and often wet since it seems to be THE drain for the whole neighborhood and water / snowmelt travels down it and into a catch basin about 100 feet downhill from our house.
If this were a pile of fresh cut chips, piled 6+ feet high, during the end of summer, in the middle of the desert: I would be concerned...
I have been around fresh piles in late summer, that were several feet thick of fresh chips. Go in a foot and it will burn you! Never a fire started... Granted; this on the PNW coast... But our late summers are pretty darn dry.
Jen Van : I can only give you a bunch of 'probably' and 'I think's, but 3 ft deep is about what is needed to cause combustion which will stop/never get started if it is too dry
or too wet.
The wood chips will break down from mycelium/fungus in the soil and/or bacteria , both taking turns at your chips. The logs will be broken down only by the mycelium,
will not self combust and will turn into great big sponges Which will cool the pile and saturate the ground. I call Hugel-beds Super Saturated Hugel Sponges S.S.H.S. !
With all the topics we cover, there HAS to be something here for your other half! I came here for the wood stoves and have grown a lot in the last two years !
For the Future/Good of the craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! As always, your comments and questions are solicited and welcome Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
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