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Woodchip mulching

EurekaEureka Posts: 2

Does laying a thick mulch of fresh wood chippings help the plants and help with weed suppression or are there any problems with doing this ?



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,865

    I've heard that fresh woodchip can draw nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes. 

    I get mine from a local tree surgeon and layer it up with grass clipping for a few months before mulching.

  • Yup, woodchip bad, chipped bark good. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,865

    since posting my original reply, I've been reading reports re " nitrogen depletion" . I have to say it's pretty conflicting as to whether it does or not. 

    Composted is certainly fine, but fresh?????

  • I can see why wood chips would do it, since its a recently alive product. Bark is already long dead by the time its chipped. Composted should be fine though. Especially is you layer it with grass cuttings, as they leak nitrogen everywhere.


  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Fresh wood chippings are great for paths, but I have been told fresh is not good  for mulching, because it doesn't have what is necessary to kick-start the decomposing process. Best to heap them together and let nature do her thing, the longer the better.
    Once they are rotting, you can mix with well rotted horse muck for humus. Or mix with that most precious of stuff -home made compost, which makes the compost go further too.     

  • Flora rosaFlora rosa Posts: 262

    Hi all, a slightly different ask but .... I have lots of fungus gnats and last year I used nematodes but they all came back, so this year I read on here that mulching the soil with a thick layer of woodchip would suppress them. What I need to know is, will it stop the spreading plants from continuing to spread ? (If that makes sense). Really irritating gnats and I don't know how to get rid or at least minimise them image

  • When you say spreading, do you mean via roots or seeds? If they spread underground then send up shoots, an extra two inches of mulch shouldn't cause them any major issues as long as it doesn't dry into a hard layer.

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    The only real difference between fresh and older woodship is colour. Fresh stays bright white/yellow for almost a year or more then goes grey like the older bits.

    IF fresh woodship reduces Nitrogen then the solution is to add more with a liquid feed: and it is not going to use it up, it will release it again when it decomposes, so win-win.

  • Flora rosaFlora rosa Posts: 262

    Hi jimmy, roots I mean, so should still be able to shoot up through wood bark chips ? Thanks 

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    Eureka,  take a look at this (my favourite link) 

    It basically says depends on what you are planting but mostly good fresh.  Much better than chipped bark, Jimmy

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