Thank you ALL for the quick and informative replies! I'll address the questions and thoughts individually and given some more background information on the wonderful journey my wife and I are embarking on in our yard.
Shauna I'm concerned about termites as well. They've been in my house before and I don't anticipate bringing the wood chips any closer than 50 ft. to the house. I'm interested in finding a natural defense for the nasty critters. Anyone have an idea?
Hey Wayne. No I'm not the basketball player. I'm the taller Steve Nash lacking in coordination enough to dribble and drool at the same time. I'll talk to my arborist and see if I can get mostly leaves in a couple areas to do a side by side analysis. As I've stated, the wood chips contain tons of leaves already so I'm hoping it is a perfect mix for rapid decay. The piles are composting quite nicely already on their own. They've been in my yard for a couple weeks now and I've spread only about half of them.
Excellent information Jennifer and thank you for the welcome. I've been learning about water harvesting and Brad Lancaster's videos are fantastic! I'm so stoked to have a watershed management expert coming to the house next week. We have a very large wash running diagonally through the yard. It has created pools that fill during heavy rains so we already have a leg up in regards to capture. These are all natural and my yard has been doing this for the 20 years I've lived on it. We are looking into grey water harvesting and rainwater from the roof as well. I think we typically get a little more rain up here than Phoenix and Jennifer, I could hit your parents old house with a rock from our place.
Hey Mark. I am a restaurant owner and I'm very happy to use the hundred or so cardboard boxes I get weekly for a good cause that will give something back instead of just winding up in a dumpster. And yes, all my vegetable waste comes home with me nightly for my compost piles! This yard has always had huge weed problems. It's nice to kill two birds with the cardboard repurposing. When I first purchased the place, Roundup poison was used regularly and I became enlightened enough to stop using that early on. I even laid down a bunch of salt to kill the weeds,thankfully without success. It feels so good to finally be doing something good for the land. Moving towards sustainability at every turn now.
On the topic of water for the wood chips, shall I put a sprinkler on them occasionally? We've got Scottsdale water until I can harvest my own. The municipal water is disgusting, very alkaline. What do you all think of getting it wet that way? I do soak the cardboard in a trash can filled with water before I lay it down. The stuff is still moist a week later!
Thanks again permie friends. I so look forward to hearing more from you.