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Growing in Wood Chip Dump

 
                            
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I have an area of my property that the local mill had been dumping wood chips on for over a decade. It's mixed with a bit of rock, but aside from that, pure wood chips. Would I be able to grow anything directly in this? It would best be mixed with other soil, right?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Anything you plant there will probably grow very well. Even without adding any dirt. It sounds like a hugelkultur with a 10-year build.

There is a new housing development a mile down the road from me. When they went to clear all the pine and oak forest and subdivide it into building lots, they chipped all the trees and brush and pushed the wood chips to the back of the lots as they graded them. Each lot has a wood chip dump at the back of it that is anywhere from 1' to 3' deep. Now, two years later, the lots are still mostly dirt with some weeds on them, grasses and and an occasional pokeweed, but the wood chip piles at the back of the lots have big, big weeds, 5 and 6 feet tall. That's the fertility of a wood chip dump.
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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Sounds like an ideal setup to me... Wonder what you'd think of some experimentation? Mebbe try some plants here and there, some in a pocket of soil, some in a pocket of compost, some just in the chips. The sky is the limit as far as how many things you could try...

I am a believer in compost. I won't argue Ford & Chevy, but I will stick up for compost, it has really made a difference around here... Best of luck to you, whatever you decide to try! TM
 
duane hennon
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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hi 1 mind,

you should check out this

http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/


there is a thread here on permies about it, but i can't find it
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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My experience with untended slash piles matches the chip piles in John's neighborhood. Annual thistles grew 3 feet high on the regular soil and they grew 7 feet high on the slash piles.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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