Return to the Cottage Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Pine chips as mulch

Posted by abbalabba 5-6 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 23, 08 at 22:49

I have heard that pine chips are not friendly as mulch in our veggie garden (ringed by perennials). Fact or fiction?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pine chips as mulch

I have read that wood-chip based mulches are better for permanent plantings such as perennials, shrubs and trees, because they create the kind of microbial soil conditions that favor these kinds of plants. For annuals -- and most vegetable garden are annuals -- you would do better with a mulch of straw. In any case, I have taken this advice myself in my own garden, straw for the veggies and wood chips for the trees and perennial plantings. I have garden compost as a layer under both.


RE: Pine chips as mulch

Wood chips create a more fungally based situation, which as Rosefolly mentions, is better for more permanent plants, particularly shrubs and trees. Green mulches (like from grass clippings) set up bacterially based conditions, which are better for annuals, like most vegetables. Still, if you used pine chips, you're likely OK anyway as there is usually some of both no matter what, just make sure you have some good compost on top of the soil, but below the chips. These same principles apply to making compost. You can actually create a compost that is more specifically geared to whatever plants you want to grow. That's a little bit more complicated than I want to get with my plantings right now, so I just put any compost I have on anything.


RE: Pine chips as mulch

Pine wood chips will rob the soil of nitrogen as they break down and some of your plants may suffer chlorosis. On the other hand, pine bark chips don't take up nitrogen when they break down and they do add a lot of valuable nutrients to the soil. I always try to use the small pine bark chips in my paths for a season or two and then rake them up and toss them on the beds as mulch. Walking on them breaks them into even smaller pieces and they turn very dark. The plants do very well and they are acidic so they discourage the noxious weed seeds that thrive in poor soil. Cheryl

RE: Growing Pines in chips.

Got a planting site, an old sawmill, where seven year-old eastern white pine saplings will be going into four or five feet of old pine sawdust and chips.

What would the best approach be in terms of soil around plant, nutrients etc on and after planting? Do you think the plants will take in that environment?

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Cottage Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here