• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

rough chips best ways to use large quantity ?  RSS feed

 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we are having local tree trimming for the power lines in our area they have about 20 miles to do . I called and made arrangements for them to dump all chips on our property . As we are central to where they will be working and have a large property and room to park they will store the trucks here and dump each night . about 4 loads a day .
I am doing the snoopy happy dance . but now how to best use the chips to defeat the bind weed and rag weed in the garden areas ? and should I put down lime or any thing else before spreading the chips ?
I did an in ground Hugelculture ( sp )a last month and now the top will also get mulched with the chips.
excess that is not used right away will be composted several hundred feet away from the garden ( because they can smell bad as they are decomposing ) I have never had more than i or 2 loads at a time so I am wondering other than a mask while turning the piles what else do I need to think about ?
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2137
69
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bindweed thrives in low calcium soils. If you really don't want bindweed in a particular area, you can add ag lime. The bindweed, dandelion, plantain and other weeds are there as nature's agents to add the calcium to the soil. They are healing your soil. You can chop and drop. When enough calcium is added through your weeds or in other ways, the bindweed will go somewhere else where it is needed. You can determine what will grow in your soil by paying attention to the quality of your soil, which will determine what grows easily there. Wood chips in general are great for building soil organic material and soil food web.
John S
PDX OR
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 751
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nothing wrong with letting it sit while you gradually use it. The longer it stays in a pile the quicker the decomposition . A year would not bother me unless you consider it an eyesore. Kids will play king of the hill on it.

I got 7 loads and it was a lot. We have 2 horses on a 1/4 acre area ( we let them out on pasture daily). There is no longer grass so we covered it for erosion control.

I had another area where erosion took out 18" of topsoil along a fence. It dropped off like a cliff. We sculpted it with the chips, added some dirt on top, and planted grass. It's like a 200 ft x 50 ft giant invisible hugel bed. What was bare rock now feeds the horses. I hope the water holding characteristic keeps the grass alive, which stops the erosion from occurring again.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you John
do you have any recommendations for what rate to apply the lime ?
the bindweed arrived in a loads of landscaper waste that my husband was taking in about 15 years ago , he was not turning the windrows and it took over .By the time I clamed that area for garden the bind weed had set seed every where the last few years we spread the compost and have been actively battling the bind weed because it makes it hard to harvest and grows over things robbing light but we also have plenty of plantain so I think you are right about the calcium (plantain are so much better behaved that I do not mind them )

 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wayne

Good point , the only rush is for weed suppression and to toss some it a few times to get it cooking for spring use in the front drive area I figure tossing it will make it look a bit more uniform .
the chip piles will be way out back where the trailer rigs used to park so only a few kids will get to play .

years ago when I was getting chips I loved how it made the garden look and how the soil was soft as could be after a few years of mulch . Now a different garden and very much looking forward to using a thick mulch
sue
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1678
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
54
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good deep woodchip mulch has helped me beat back bindweed in some areas of our garden - particularly around the raspberry canes where it was rampant. It will still grow through easily but with lots of mulch it becomes very easy to pull out great long sections of root - pretty much the only way to beat it in my experience once it is established.

You do need to back up the woodchip with regular (weekly!) hand pulling of the new stems.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I had that volume of woodchips I would probably go for mushroom cultivation in at least some of them
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael I am glad to hear the mulch worked I have been pulling a few years and went to a push cultivator rather than rototiller to avoid chopping and replanting the bits of root . I am really hoping the mulch will be a big improvement .

Mushrooms That sounds interesting I always thought they were hard to grow
will it work on mixed wood chip that there is no way to know the content ? We also have loads of trees so I could actually try on logs also if I need to know the variety of wood

 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1337
Location: Denver, CO
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the pile is too deep, lactic acid can build up and turn the pile toxic. It will kill any plant it is put near. So see if the trucks can dump it in a spread out piles, rather then one huge mound.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gilbert I had never heard of that,
thank you for bringing it to my attention . Do you have any input on the best with / height to make windrows to prevent that ?


another thought the piles will be where they can not be watered other than rain . is there any worry of fire from the natural decomp ? Years ago I remember manure fires at least twice , I know that was higher nitrogen but our trees are still in leaf . so it will be a wood leaf mix




 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1337
Location: Denver, CO
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About fire: large composting facilities do catch fire from time to time. Straw and hay are especially bad, I think. I have never heard of wood chips catching fire, but that doesn't mean it has never happened.

Somewhere on line there is a paper talking about the lactic acid problem and how big piles can be. One of the factors that contributes to the problem is compaction. So don't have the trucks back up over the lower layers of wood chips to dump top ones.

Maybe some of the more experienced members can chime in on these issues.

But I still think you have got a lucky haul! Especially with all the leaves mixed in.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LOOKING on the web I have read more complicated composting reading than I could imagine a couple hours last night and 2 more today

the only reference I can find to lactic acid is one saying it slows the microbial growth
and another reference said to not make the windrow more than 3-4 meters tall I think we will be much lower than that

the tree company said 2 weeks , it has been almost one I am hoping they can bring loads before it is cold
sue
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Chips have started arriving , about 5 loads so far spent the last 2 days spreading chips transplanting and spreading some already done compost on the transplants , then raw chip around the areas I am trying to kill grass .Up against perennial bed edging, along the outside of fences to make it so I do not have to string trim much . covered a 20 foot foot path through a treed area that connects the vegetable gardens to the back of the house . and covered the area we use for garden side sitting .
I was looking at the chips I put down in the perennial bed area 2 years ago in a couple spots and almost all the wood is gone and it looks like loam with a bit of wood chip topping . we did not do any turning or add any thing .
so far just the little we spread have made a visual improvement that really makes me smile . When the property is large, it is hard to keep it looking neat . I am hoping to spread chips on quite a few non growing areas so in the spring the weeds will be suppressed from the start . from using wood chip in the past I remember as it decomposes the weeds that ado come through are now in softer soil full of worms and that makes pulling weeds and grasses easier .
hoping to do another buried hugel culture this weekend in between spreading chips .
 
Juli Anne
Posts: 14
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Susan Doyon wrote:we are having local tree trimming for the power lines in our area they have about 20 miles to do . I called and made arrangements for them to dump all chips on our property . As we are central to where they will be working and have a large property and room to park they will store the trucks here and dump each night . about 4 loads a day .
I am doing the snoopy happy dance . but now how to best use the chips to defeat the bind weed and rag weed in the garden areas ? and should I put down lime or any thing else before spreading the chips ?
I did an in ground Hugelculture ( sp )a last month and now the top will also get mulched with the chips.
excess that is not used right away will be composted several hundred feet away from the garden ( because they can smell bad as they are decomposing ) I have never had more than i or 2 loads at a time so I am wondering other than a mask while turning the piles what else do I need to think about ?


I use wood chips all the time because they are one of the few mulches you can get that don't have pesticides on them. I put down cardboard, some kind of manure or high nitrogen mulch and then on top I put the wood chips. Bindweed loves straw. Bindweed doesn't like wood mulch. But wood mulch doesn't hold in water as well as straw, so I apply straw that I used as bedding for the animals.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
over the last few weeks the chips finally came , I could not be happier the new chippers make a finer more uniform chip , easier to rake out
we have spread loads already , and sent 3 truckloads up to a friend and still we have this pile and a much smaller pile in the garden . I am really thrilled with this wood chip mulch and happily thinking of all the areas it will free me from mowing and how much it will improve the water retention in the garden soils , this fall and spring all my paths and garden boundaries will get a nice thick mulch


 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just realized that picture looks funny . I was up on a berm of topsoil that was pushed up when we brought in some rocky fill for trucks to park on ( we needed an area that the cutting torches could be used with no grass to catch on fire and nice hard packed surface ) so I was up on the hill looking down

to get these chips I called the local company that cuts for the power lines .
they are happy to give them away . so if you have a good place for them to dump it never hurts to call and see when they will cut in your area and let them know you will be happy to take chips
IT is real important to have a place that is available to dump that they do not have to contact you first
we called and they sent a guy out to look at what was available for space to dump and the reason we got so much is we have the area to store it and we made arrangements for them to park here at night ( saving them gas and time on the road )
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice arrangement. For wood chips the king stropharia aka winecap is a good choice. It will happily colonize mixed wood chips and handles sun. Not only will it get along with your garden plants, it will help them. Plus provide you with large edible mushrooms.
 
Susan Doyon
Posts: 149
Location: Massachusetts
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you , I have never heard of them I will look them up ,. we can dump some chips under trees if the mushrooms would like a more filtered sunlight
 
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, it's a tiny ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!