What To Do With Wood Chips From Chipper

reviewed by Truman Perkins

Many of you might think about "What to do with wood chips from chipper"? You may hail from or belong to a sub-urban or a village surrounded by a forest that holds many trees. Wood chips are sourced from the debris of dead trees fallen for an artificial or natural disaster.

These chips are treasured substantial, that can be placed to many diverse uses. But there is a lot of misunderstanding out there about

"What to do with wood chips from the chipper."

What To Do With Wood Chips From Chipper: Multiple uses

Wood chips have multiple uses, and we have compiled the best solution for the controversy of "what to do with wood chips from the chipper." Nowadays, these chips endure to use as a mulch for landscaping, compost, covering up mud, grill and smoke foods, creating pathways, animal bedding, playground cushioning, starting a fire, erosion control, building raised beds, growing mushrooms, and lots more.

This is a sign that many take for granted. It is communal on many homesteads and used in many gardens, lawns, and public spaces. In this article, we'll look at different ways to use wood chips around your homestead.

Types of Wood Chips

Before we jump on, it will be significant to discuss that not all wood chip is found equal. Wood chip is in different grades, or sizes, and can be made from a range of different types of wood. Which wood has been chipped will greatly bear how useful it will be and where it can be used. Consequently, one thing to mention is that not all wood chips are as natural and eco-friendly as you might imagine.

Consideration Before Buying a Wood Chip

If you buy or get a wood chip from anywhere other than your property, be sure you know where it comes from and whether or not it has been processed. It will also be necessary to know which sort of wood was utilized.

I would strongly advise you to get an electric chipper for your farm. Using one can be an environmentally friendly option if it is powered by clean energy.

Uses of Wood chip

Uses of Wood chip
Uses of Wood chip

Use Wood Chip as a Mulch

Mulching, the simplest and most apparent application of wood chip on your property, is as a mulch, especially on your growing areas: the easiest use and clarified answer about your confusion on what to do with wood chips from the chipper.

However, utilizing wood chips as mulch is not always as simple as it may look. There is a level of complication in terms of when or where you can utilize it. To synthesize things a little, you can and should use the wood chip as a mulch with little concern:

  • Around fruit trees and mature shrubs, especially in a forest garden.
  • Around mature woody perennials in ornamental beds or borders.
  • In wild woodland areas or around mature ornamental trees.

However, if you want to use the wood chip as a mulch in your vegetable garden, things are somewhat more tricky.

  1. Fresh wood chip is not advised for usage around annual crops in general. Growing annual fruits and vegetables in an area where fresh wood chips have lingered is also not a good idea.
  2. However, this does not rule out the usage of wood chips in your orchard.

Tips for Using Wood Chip as Mulch

As previously discussed, wood chips come in a variety of sizes. First and foremost, make a decision about which size you prefer to apply as a mulch. The bigger the pieces of wood are, the longer it will take to break them down. Another significant factor is whether the collected wood is dried or partially dried before being chipped or if it was sappy green.

Wood chip Decomposes Nitrogen

This is one of the main reasons for the controversy surrounding the usage of the wood chip as a mulch. Nitrogen is scarce in wood chips. As a result, microorganisms that eat low-nitrogen organic matter (decompose it) must get their nitrogen from others. They get it from the surrounding soil when no other nitrogen source is available.

When they die, the nitrogen is absorbed by plants, which is once again accessible to plants. However, there may not be enough nitrogen available for plants in the short term.

When a wood chip is placed on top of the soil, it just interacts with the upper soil surface and does not affect the nitrogen levels in the bed.

But it is not a good idea to mulch seedlings and annual plants with just fresh wood chips in part because many require plenty of nitrogen during the time that the wood chip is breaking down. And with less root spread and in a bacterial rather than fungal environment, they are less likely to obtain it elsewhere.

Solutions to Consider Adding Wood Chip as a Mulch

However, you may consider adding wood chip as a mulch, even around vegetables, if you want to enrich a nitrogen-rich mulch at the same time.

That way, there will still be plenty of nitrogen to go around even while the decomposition occurs. Greenwood that you have chipped yourself along with some green leafy material will already have this nitrogen source built-in. Using a lower nitrogen wood chip, grass clippings, green leaves, or a nitrogen-rich liquid feed will do the trick.

Another option is to compost the wood chip before you use it as a mulch. That is way, decomposition has taken place, and nitrogen tie-up is not an issue. Grass clippings, green leaves, or a nitrogen-rich liquid feed is sufficient if you're using a lower nitrogen wood chip. Decomposition will occur, and nitrogen tie-up will not be a concern.

Rotted Wood Chips Are Different

Even if you do not add wood chips to your compost heap, you can leave them in the corner of your property to begin decomposition. That way, as mentioned, nitrogen tie-up will not be an issue.

Another option would be to use them in one of the other ways mentioned in the list below and then, once they begin to break down, spreading them as mulch.

Trees Selection is a Prerequisite

This is something more to consider if you're going to utilize wood chips as mulch. Hardwood wood chips will have different features than softwood wood chips, such as pine. When utilizing a conifer, for example, be in mind that it might cause the soil to become acidic. This is proven useful in regions with alkaline soil, but it could be harmful in areas with ericaceous soil.

Use Wood Chip To Build Raised Beds

Fresh wood chips, as previously stated, are unlikely suitable as a mulch for annual growth regions. However, you can choose to create additional growth regions on your own (especially if it is or partially rotted). Wood chips can be great for building up raised beds using the lasagna bed process. As a bulky, carbon-rich material that is often readily available in fairly large quantities, it could be an ideal choice for new, low-cost growing areas.

When creating a lasagna bed, what you are doing is composting in place. As in a compost heap, relatively thin layers of 'brown' carbon-rich and 'green' nitrogen-rich materials are built. A wood chip of various varieties fits into the 'brown' category. It can therefore be a good choice of material to begin filling your raised beds.

Use Wood Chip in a Hugelkultur Mound

Hugelkultur (mound culture) is a comparable but slightly different approach for creating additional growth spaces for your homestead. The aim is to decompose brown and green materials in situ, similar to lasagna gardening. Hugelkultur, on the other hand, uses a mounded form rather than a flat elevated bed. A skeleton of half-rotten wood will be found at the center of the mound.

Chip to Your Compost Heap

You may think to expand new growing areas, and you may not have the space to create a separate heap to allow partial decomposition of the wood chip. In such instances, adding a wood chip to your compost heap is a perfectly viable solution. However, if the wood chip has larger pieces, decomposition will take longer, and your compost may not be as fine. It is also important to remember that, as with other compostable materials, wood chip is only added a little at a time. You must not add too much 'brown' or too much 'green' at one time. The heap (or bin) must be kept balanced.

It is also important to remember that, as with other compostable materials, the wood chip should only be added a little at a time. You must not add too much 'brown' or too much 'green' at one time. The heap (or bin) must keep balance.

Use Wood Chip in a Hot Bed

As wood chip decomposes, it emits heat in the same way as other biodegradable materials do. Wood chip produces a hotbed, as shown in the examples of other growth regions above.

I utilize chicken dung from the coop, where we keep our 15 rescue chickens, partially rotten manure, and bedding (from the top of the compost heap near the coo) to make my hotbed along with the wood shavings that are used in their nesting boxes.

I also use other materials that I found on hand - further wood chips, shredded pruning's from the forest garden, and some dried leaves. Adding these materials in thin layers will help to aid decomposition. The heat is retained with walls with good thermal mass and a recycled glass cover.

Use Wood Chip as a Walk-way Material

One of the most things I utilize is a wood chip from my forest garden to create informal walkways. I use a combination of an electric shredder that is quite fine. This indicates that the substance degrades fast. As a result, the pathways are far from permanent. However, as they begin to wear thin, I gather up the broken-down woodchip/humus stuff and spread it over my adjacent plants.

Then, I replenish the walkway with a new batch of woodchips. It means I do not need a separate space to break down the material. And it provides easy access to the forest garden. What is more, the mulch material is right there where I need it.

In Summary

There are many options to do with the wood chips about the topic of "what to do with wood chips from the chipper." When you have a surplus of wood chips, you have no clue what to do with them. I hope that this article will inspire you to proper use of wood chips as garden mulch for beautiful walkways, compost materials, and erosion and weed control aids. You may utilize this cost-effective option to address difficulties now that you know the best applications for wood chips and how to use them appropriately.

About Truman Perkins

Truman Perkins is a Detroit-based SEO consultant who's been in the business for over a decade. He got his start helping friends and clients get their websites off the ground, and he continues to do so today. In his free time, Truman enjoys learning and writing about gardening - something he believes is a natural stress reliever. He lives with his wife, Jenny, and their twins in Detroit.

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