Use for Wood Chips in Garden

Asked August 24, 2013, 1:39 AM EDT

I have a 20'X 20'X 8' tall slash pile out back that I planned on eventually burning . I'm now rethinking and thoughts are to rent a wood chipper for a day at $150 locally. Save the chips and use on my garden for mulch. I have very sandy light soil that takes constant watering to get any veggies to survive to harvest. I'm in the city limits and can no longer afford my water/sewer bill to garden. Will this mulch help the garden? The slash limbs are those that fall from storms or died back and I cut them and toss onto pile. Have about a 10 year old pile of limbs : Balm of Gilion,crab apples,green ash, carrigona hedge,box elder and some lawn leaves I've dumped on. Some branches are 10 years old or so and many I've thrown on just this summer. I need to decide soon before it gets too cold to chip and for me to make a pile next to my garden for next years posible use. THANK YOU!!!!!

Beltrami County Minnesota

3 Responses

The slash pile is a valuable resource and can serve multiple purposes in your garden after it is shredded or chipped. The chips will improve the soil where you grow vegetables, but they take a while to decompose and can make it difficult to till the soil or create a smooth seed bed until they do.

The following websites contain useful information about using shredded or chipped wood for landscape and garden purposes:

http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Wood%20chips%202007.pdf

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/question-of-the-week/wood-chips-mulch

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/715.html#chips



Thank You - I've decided to chip and pile next to my garden for future use. Should I add anything to the chips as I chip and pile to benefit the pile for garden/landscape use or just let it lie in the pile to break down over the winter b4 use next spring?
Thank You!
David in Bemidji,MN

If you want to speed up the composting process, add nitrogen fertilizer and keep the pile moist, but not wet. If you want to use the chips to suppress weeds around landscape plants, a slower breakdown serves your purpose. In that case just let nature take its course.