How to Garden With Wood Chip Mulch

 

Gardening Tip: Wood Chip Mulch

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One of the things I like best about running this website is all the cool people I get to talk to and learn from.

The other day I was talking with YouTube personality Katzcradul and she informed me about Paul Gautschi and his wonderful film Back to Eden. I won’t go into detail here (except to say you really ought to watch the film), but I did learn about the importance of mulch, and decided to follow his Wood Chip Mulch method this year.

Basically Gautschi uses wood chip mulch in his garden to make weeding easier, reduce the need for irrigation, to reduce erosion, eliminate the need to till, and to enrich the soil over time.
What I like best is the time savings – this year I am very short on time, and the ease of weeding this method provides is VERY welcome.

The biggest thing I hear about wood chip mulch is that the decaying wood binds up nitrogen in the soil, and even if this is true – when the wood decays it releases the nitrogen, so as you use this process over years you get long term benefits. However, the research I have done suggests that any nitrogen binding is limited to a very thin band where the chips meet the soil and do not affect the plants as much as some internet experts claim.

I haven’t had a lot of experience with the mulch, except that it makes weeding much easier – but I plan on doing this long term – at least until I find a better method of permaculture mulching.

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