Found this while researching mulch driveways on Google, so I am bumping it for more responses. This means that as it biodegrades, the process may draw nitrogen out of the soil and away from your plants roots, making them weaker. Hedge/shrub prunings and stems from younger trees or tree suckers can be shredded and applied directly as a fresh mulch on unplanted or planted areas. Trees are beautiful, beneficial for the environment and increase property value, but sometimes it is necessary to chop them down. No lime required! They are heavier than straw or hay and less likely to have slugs. Also, make sure to leave 6 inches of foundation showing between the ground and your home’s woodwork or siding. 4 Creative Ways to Use Wood Shavings 1. If the material you wish to apply is an even mixture of a range of tree species, it can be applied fresh around established plants. If so should I apply lime to counteract this?While there may be transient changes in pH within the mulch layer itself, there is no evidence that this has any impact on the underlying soil. Other times, they fall down on their own. We do compost our bark, and some people are composting ground wood, which is coarser than sawdust. Blueberries like a really good boggy-type soil and an old tin bath’s perfect. While many people use wood shavings as animal bedding or a mulch alternative, they have many other uses around the house and garden. In today's video, I share how and why I use wood chip mulch. WOOD CHIPS AS MULCH Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor University of Vermont If you garden, you may often hear that arborist wood chips should not be used as mulch, which actually is not supported by studies. Instead, what I’m talking about is: are there any dangers to adding wood As with other mulches they help suppress weeds and protect the soil from erosion, capping and compaction  by wind and rain. Instead of burning it, chipping or shredding it can turn this waste into a valuable mulching material. I have several bags of coarse wood shavings from chainsawing a lot of timber for firewood, I have mixed some of it into my various compost heaps. Hello all. Blueberries like a really good boggy-type soil and an old tin bath’s perfect. I have recently acquired some horse manure with very little straw in it so I will mix this with the shavings, and some original human compost activator and should get a good mix going I hope!! One of the major drawbacks of having wood shavings as a mulch is that it can steal away the much-needed nitrogen from the soil when decomposing. When in doubt, it is better to age it or apply to non-planted areas of the garden. But don't use wood mulch within thirty feet of a house or car because any wood mulch can breed the artillery fungus that stains those expensive objects with zillions of little tar ball-like spores. Yes, I would be uncomfortable using them as mulch, specially around my fruit trees. While there may be a small zone of nutrient uptake at the interface between the mulch and soil layers, this will have little impact on well-established plants rooted below this zone. Cedar decomposes more slowly than other types of wood shavings, but still needs replacement every two to three years. Our customers are varied and include: Construction companies, Landscapers, Equestrian Centers, Agricultural and Cattle farmers. Some wood chips can be toxic to your garden depending on where you get them from. Some gardeners only use wood mulch for pathways between plantings and choose more organic and nutrient-rich choices like grass clippings or compost as mulch around the plants. All sawdust and wood shavings … It's OK to use the redwood shavings as a mulch around your ornamental plants. There are specific tree problems to consider with wood chip mulch. However, be aware that woody materials may contain compounds that harm plants (phytotoxic) which are produced by the plants to deter potential herbivores and/or help supress the germination and growth of competitor plants (allelopathy). Only use in … Whilst small amounts of the softer, greener material may be added to the general compost bin, larger branches and trunks cannot be disposed of easily in this way. So if someone was giving me wood shavings, even if they were free, I would make sure that they're not from treated wood. 7. Cultivated gardens benefit from mulch as much as natural forests, and chipped wood makes an excellent mulch. There are specific tree problems to consider with wood chip mulch. These materials decompose slowly making them long-lived, reducing the need for re-application. It is essential that wood chips be used properly. The wood mulch requires quite a bit of turning and most have to add water. Welcome to the Kitchen Garden Magazine Forum. 1 Answers 0 Vote Up Vote […] As long as this comes from natural untreated wood, I can't see any problem with it. Do not till into the soil without composting them first. Felled trees or shrubs and prunings from hedges generate a large amount of woody waste in the garden. 020 3176 5800 It is important that such mulches are not worked into the soil, as this will increase the risk. Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter, Postby Mike Vogel » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:20 pm, Postby Johnboy » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:33 pm, Postby oldherbaceous » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:45 am, Postby Johnboy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:37 am, Postby glallotments » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:50 am, Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests, General tips / questions on seeding & planting. Again, this is unlikely to be an issue for mature plants, but chipped and shredded conifer mulches should be aged before use around establishing plants. Just don’t pile it on – 2″ should be enough. Large particles (example: large chips of wood) have less of a tendency to tie up nitrogen. WOOD CHIPS AS MULCH Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor University of Vermont If you garden, you may often hear that arborist wood chips should not be used as mulch, which actually is not supported by studies. It also compacts down better. Cedar shavings are frequently used as mulch, especially in widely spaced plantings, such as blackberry bushes or tomato bushes. Fresh mulch laid around a recently planted tree, RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and reduces the growth of weeds. Slate, shingle, pebbles, gravel, stone chippings and other decorative aggregates are often used as a mulch across beds. Mix a pint of 10-10-10 fertilizer into the area and plant without worry. The cedar wood originates from different trees known as “cedars” that grow in various parts of the world. But, youre not stuck with a stump in your yard. I was thinking of using chat, crushed rock, for mulch rather than wood chips. We can dump or blow loads and roll-off bins with our trucks. I have several bags of coarse wood shavings from chainsawing a lot of timber for firewood, I have mixed some of it into my various compost heaps. As an outdoor mulch, cedar shavings help protect plant roots and seal in moisture as it breaks down to add nutrients into the soil. I know they are acidic but my soil is alkaline so that shouldn't be a problem. If you have extra wood shavings or want something new to try, consider the creative uses below. I have a mere 200 square feet to cover, just enough to park a truck on. You might note that wood takes longer to rot down than green vegetation because of its content of lignin [derived from the Latin for wood], which is the substance which also causes leaves to take longer to rot down than greenery. Bark and chipped woody waste can also be bought in bags from garden centres or in bulk from compost suppliers. I’ve spent an entire morning perusing studies to answer some questions and concerns I read/hear when it comes to using wood chips. Also, if fresh wood chips are applied in too thick of a layer, the heat generated as they begin to compost can also injure herbaceous plants. It can be composted, although best mixed with nitrogenous (green) garden waste. 222879/SC038262, Do not mulch directly up against the base of tree trunks or shrubs as this can create a moist, low oxygen environment which may encourage disease. Wood chips and shavings can also be used for mulch or pathways. They also make an excellent protective layer, moderating soil conditions by absorbing moisture and slowly releasing it back. Mulch for the Garden. In order to get the optimum benefits from wood chips, they can be applied at a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Like any organic mulch, they need to be replenished periodically to keep providing weed suppression and water conservation benefits. Wood chips work best as mulch around grapevines Q: I am putting in 30 more wine grapevines. Organic materials for mulching should be a stable material that will remain in place at least through the growing season of an annual crop and longer for perennial crops. You do have a choice in what type of mulch you use. I read something recently about using wood chips as mulch that might be concern for some people. Very fine wood shavings or shreds may only last six months before they break down too much to be useful as a mulch. IAN: Yes, in an old tin bath! I generally use wood shavings in winter as it cuts down on ice balls in the feet. Shavings do make reasonable mulch once they *have* been rained on a bit to settle them down. This process will allow any phytotoxic compounds to be broken down, rendering the material safe even on newly planted beds. For a moment, sawdust and wood shavings can prove to be a little harsh on the blueberry plants when they are still young due to the presence of tannins. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. ♦ Mulching: Cedar chips are primarily used as a garden mulch, which is a mixture of cedar bark and shavings. As long as there have been trees growing in the forest, there has been mulch on the ground beneath the trees. I have a friend who's a joiner and is wanting to get rid of sacks of wood shavings (of various types). If you’re putting that much composted manure in your garden anyway, skip the work of the wood chip mulch altogether. You may be surprised by their versatility. Cedar wood shavings are an excellent mulch and fertilizer for your plants and landscaping. Ever since watching ‘Back to Eden’ wood chips have gained massive popularity as a garden mulch. IAN: Yes, in an old tin bath! I was planning on gravel, but gravel is more complicated and expensive than expected. There can be a problem of lignin runoff. Wood, including bark from larger, mature trees can be chipped and applied as a fresh mulch on both unplanted areas and around plants on well-established beds. Chipped or shredded materials from both broadleaf (oak, beech, lime etc.) The propensity to tie up nitrogen also depends on whether or not you mix the chips with soil, or use them as a mulch on the top of the soil. (See this previous Q of the Week for the stained details.) Best used under wood chip mulch for paths or patios as a weed barrier. Not only do they repel insects, but as the shavings breakdown they add nutrients to your soil. (And the composting of the chips to get it even close to a carbon level that is workable.) Would it be better to compost it or rot it down like leaf litter first? THUNDERFAIRY: You mentioned blueberries liking the wood shavings compost …well you, Ian, have your own private little blueberry farm growing in a bath, don’t you! Buy it on Amazon. sources make an excellent mulch. QuestionsHow to growTrees and ShrubsWeedsuse of wood shavings as a mulch 0 Vote Up Vote Down Paddy O\’Rourke asked 10 years ago I have a number of sacks of wood shavings (ash and oak) and wonder if I can use it as a mulch and what plants to avoid? Will woody mulches acidify the soil? pine, yew, larch etc.) 7. Fresh wood mulch has over 3 times that much carbon! Sawdust is woody material that needs nitrogen to decompose. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. Fresh wood mulch has over 3 times that much carbon! If they catch fire and then start to move, you could find yourself with an inferno in the worst-case scenario. Wood mulch is typically available as chipped wood, or shredded or chunked bark, and can contribute to tree health in many ways. ... At that time you can reapply wood chips as a mulch. Ageing is the process of stacking the material into a pile and leaving it to weather for three to four months. course sawdust Pellets provide the best soak up method, and easiest to clean up,and saves the other bedding. Since sawdust is just really, really small wood chips I thought it might be worth pointing out in case the same applies. This way the plants don’t get enough nitrogen for a healthier produce. You can also use the wood shavings around your phlox. Uses of Wood Shavings. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. I was toying with the idea of using the rest as a mulch to keep weeds down between the rows on the plot, can anyone foresee a problem with this, I have heard that saw dust can cause and abundance of wirework? If you have an allotment where people keep chickens you could ask them for the manure as they often struggle to get rid of it. If they catch fire and then start to move, you could find yourself with an inferno in the worst-case scenario. Instead, you can create mulch from stump grindings. The chips are usually 1 – 2 inches long and ¼ – ½ inches wide, while the bark portion is stringy. A nice layer of compost will give you big beautiful veggies AND suppress weed growth. As the shavings/dust biodegrade they will deplete the soil of Nitrogen. The shavings are impossible to remove completely before planting grass. Some people who put sawdust down as mulch in their garden shave noticed a decline in their plants health, leading them to believe that sawdust is toxic to plants. Would pine shavings, the kind that are used as bedding for horses, be OK to use as mulch in my garden. Same as with woodchips, it should be ideally stacked/aged before use. Thank you. Some wood chips can be toxic to your garden depending on where you get them from. Many gardeners choose to use wood shavings in the garden for mulching tasks because it's one of the most economical choices available. Our garden wouldn't be what it is today without wood chip mulch. Due to the small particle size it is likely to compost faster than wood chipping. For a moment, sawdust and wood shavings can prove to be a little harsh on the blueberry plants when they are still young due to the presence of tannins. If you are in the wood industry, and in need of wood bi-products disposal (shavings and/or sawdust), give us a call. Wood shavings are used as mulch in gardening. Pine is more resinous, which might create problems used in thick plantings like strawberries. Since sustainability is such an important part of our business, we turn these byproducts into something just as useful—mulch and wood shavings. They make for a long lasting mulch that weathers to a silver-gray color. As such, wood chips are the next best thing to go for because blueberries have shallow roots and do best with mulch that can conserve moisture as well as build organic material at the same time. I was thinking of using chat, crushed rock, for mulch rather than wood chips. Best used in perennial tree and shrub areas. soil. I dug a shallow, narrow trench, put the stones in, and filled around them with white pine shavings: When it is used as a mulch, one of its benefits is that it doesn't absorb the moisture from the soil, as the woodchips we had blown into the beds this year did. This would not be recommended. As a precaution it is prudent to avoid woody mulches on annual beds, and around soft fruit or on vegetable beds where plants may be shallow rooted. No, these contain synthetic resins whose effect on plants, soil and the environment is unknown. In contrast to mulching, the incorporation or ‘digging-in’ of woody materials into the soil can create temporary nutrient deficiency issues. Here the material stimulates the growth of soil microbes, which then take up or ‘lock-up’ nutrients (typically nitrogen) leading to a reduced availability for plants for up to two years. Dry wood shavings are a good mulch to use for paths in the home vegetable garden and only need to be replaced, or added to every 2 to 3 years. Mulch made of bark and wood chips from maple trees is a natural, effective way to enrich your garden soil that also helps to retain moisture for your plants. Research on the pH of wood leachate indicates that leachate is quite acidic and could significantly lower soil pH depending on the volume used. Wood Chips. The chips or shavings are lighter than other mulch options, so you could have them blow away on you with a large enough storm. I can get mulch for free or delivered for $50.00 for 10 yards. Sea shells, tumbled glass and similar materials can be used on the surface of containers, but it is best not to use any materials made from plastic. WOOD CHIPS DON’T “ATTRACT” TERMITES. Adapting this plan for building garden soil by using a wood mulch — such as wood chips, sawdust or other woody residues — is a strategy that promises huge, long-term returns. Natural Cedar Shavings By TERRYM . See this video on how to mulch with newspaper or cardboard and wood shavings. If you’re putting that much composted manure in your garden anyway, skip the work of the wood chip mulch altogether. Wood Shavings should be well composted before being used direct onto the soil for whatever purpose. Very fine wood shavings or shreds may only last six months before they break down too much to be useful as a mulch. 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