Wood mulch in the soil?

destruckdozFebruary 24, 2007

Hello all,

Has any of you hobbyists mixed mulch into your planting bed/area? I saw some really good results from my uncle who put down a layer of mulch, rototilled it and a year later, the roots of his vegetables that allow multiple cuttings were twice as healthy as anybody elses. I thought that this was maybe due to the mulch trapping more moisture around the roots? Id like to hear some of your guys inputs or expirience with it.

Thanks

Danny

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maineman(z5a ME)

Danny,

Each year I cover my garden paths with finely chipped wood chips. I have a chipper-shredder and many brush piles so I have an almost unlimited supply. In the fall I till under everything, including the paths with the wood chips.

The results are quite good, as you have described, only you have to add extra nitrogen because the bacteria and fungi that decompose the small wood chips can deplete the nitrogen from your soil in the process.

MM

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:55PM
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sylviatexas1

If you just lay the wood chips on top of the soil, you won't need to add nitrogen.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 3:41PM
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kabuti

Last year we put a heavy layer of wood shavings from a stable which also contained mostly urine & it was not composted. I like it very much in the walkways, the more the better. On the beds as mulch the veg. did well that summer. I thought there was too much Nit.(from urine) though so did not add anything other than compost to the soil this spring. As it turns out there appears to be a lack of nitro. in the beds this time so have been removing shavings off to the paths & placing wood ash alfalfa meal & compost around the vegs. I am going to do some soil testing to determine precisly but I am sure of the lack of N & suspect the pH is off also. The climate is arid here & deep shavings hold moisture well. It takes a long time to compost wood.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 12:36PM
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ronalawn82(z9FL)

It is not unusual for plants to show a shortage of nitrogen after uncomposted material is put down; apparently the beneficial bacteria which break down the material have to get nitrogen. After the material is broken down, the nitrogen is then available to the plant.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 6:23PM
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gardengrub

I've had the same problem as kabuti above. I also created a problem with oak leaves that was similar. Watering the vegetables with fish emulsion seems to help.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 4:32PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Once you have the "cycle" going, it's self sustaining. The bacteria that break down the wood need nitrogen to grow and take it from the soil, but when they did they release it back....and if you add more wood chips that titrogen goes to feed the new bacteria....so you really only have to add nitrogen the first time you add wood chips...in theory, you hit an equilibrium, and form what I have seen in my own gardens, that's the way it works.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 8:37PM
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