Mulch much?

mitanoff(Z4b Ontario)May 6, 2008


I have a mixture of bone dry felled trees and freshly torn down (max 3" diameter) trees (hardwood)on my property. I am building raised vegetable beds and I was originally thinking of putting down gravel inbetween and around the beds. Now I'm wondering if I can use those dead trees/branches by renting a chipper and using it as mulch around the beds instead. I'm worried about the newer trees. I don't know if I need to dry them out or if they'll be "sappy". What is the proper course of action?

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If the sap is a concern, why not dry out the chips in the sun. Can you not spread them out on a tarp and let them dry out naturally? I also think that using wood chips as mulch in between vegetable beds is a great idea.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 6:19PM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

I am presently using wood chips in the way you describe. We had several trees cut last summer and the tree removal company dumped a truck load of chips for our use. Initially the large pile started heating up and 'composting'. I assisted the process by using making holes throughout the pile using rebar.
When the pile cooled down I started using the chips. I lined the paths throughout our potager garden and they really did a nice job. I re-chipped some of the chips using my own chipper/shredder and incorporated them into my raised beds(organic matter). They have been extremely useful. Evidently they stop weeds from growing on the paths or anywhere they have been used as mulch.
I say ... use them on your paths knowing that you'll have to top them up in time or as a temporary path covering until you decide upon something other in the future. You can't go wrong.
ps. The bone dry wood could prove difficult to chip using the chipper. Chipping them fresh seems to work better... at least for me.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:35AM
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mitanoff(Z4b Ontario)

Thanks so much for your reply. Our neighbours are burning their felled trees and I keep thinking there's got to be a better way to get rid of that wood.
I'll be renting a chipper later this month!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:57AM
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kanuk(Zone 5 Qc Canada)

No problem. Let us know how it works out for you. Be sure to wear gloves & eye protection when using the chipper.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 9:07PM
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