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Plastic in wood chip - how much should I tolerate?  RSS feed

 
Tord Helsingeng
Posts: 4
Location: Elverum, Norway, sub-arctic to temperate zone
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Hi all,

I am so lucky that I can get as much free wood chips as I want from a nearby timber facility.

However, there is quite a bit of plastic in it which seem to be from a kind of shredded tarpaulin. I have asked people at the facility and they can't explain it. It's a huge place with many workers.

In one trailer load I will find perhaps 300 pieces of plastic "string" (1-5 inches long) and perhaps ten patches of these strings woven together into a strong mesh. 2x2 inches or so.

The question is, how big problem is this really? If I take out the patches and the occasional piece of string (or say 20% or so) , will it be OK to use for mulch for my raspberries?

I have already painstakingly gone through three trailer loads and it takes hours to get out all (?) the plastic - one handful of chips at the time.

Thank you for any advice!
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Those kind of quantities won't hurt. It sounds like the chips have some old landscaping woven fabric mixed it. Many people use it directly on the soil around their plants to suppress weeds. In our garden the raspberry canes were "mulched" with it. Can't say it did that much for suppressing weeds, but it didn't hurt the raspberries either.
 
Tord Helsingeng
Posts: 4
Location: Elverum, Norway, sub-arctic to temperate zone
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Thank you for your advice Michael. I appreciate it!
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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