What to do with wood chipper chips?
You’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I’ll be going over in this post. I’ll be revealing everything you can use wood chipper chips for.
So let’s get straight into this!
What are the benefits of using wood chips on my soil?
If you’re new to the gardening world, you might be unaware of the fact that wood chips are a cheap way to make your garden evergreen. Using wood chips as mulch has many benefits, some of them are:
1. Improves Soil’s Nutrient Level
If you take good care of your garden, but the plants suffer from stunt growth, then it means the soil lacks nutrients. Just like human beings, plants need a long list of minerals and nutrients to grow properly.
This is where the wood chips come into play. Spreading an even layer of wood chips on the soil is the best way to improve the soil nutrient level.
Unlike processed mulch, wood chips are uneven in size. The smaller wood chips particles break down faster and add nutrition to the soil. Meanwhile, the bigger particles would take more time to break down naturally.
This means that using wood chips offers a constant and continuous increase in nutrient level. You can add the wood chips to your garden soil once and benefit from it for many months.
2. Suppresses Weed Growth
Several times due to lack of attention and care in the past, my garden soil starts growing weeds. If you’re facing the same problem, it could result from improper irrigation, fertilization, or mowing practices. But the worst part is that once the weed has invaded your lawn, getting rid of it takes time and patience.
Many grassy weeds such as goose grass, bluegrass, and crabgrass grew annually. Meanwhile, ill mowing practices and excess water in the soil are the culprits for Bermuda grass and dallisgrass.
Mowing every three to five days can help to eradicate the weed. But if you don’t have time or want to speed up the process, use wood chips.
Using 2 inches of wood chipping can help you get rid of the weed. This thick layer of composite material prevents the weed from getting sunlight, and it dies naturally. Once the weed is dead, the wood chips will suppress the weed from growing back.
3. Maintains Soil Moisture Level
One of the most common problems for outdoor plants is the lack of moisture retention in soil. If you live in a hot climate, then the problem is even bigger.
Have you ever watered your plants twice a day, but they still looked dead and dehydrated? The reason behind this is the heat. In summer weather, the moisture from the soil evaporates, and it leaves the soil dry. But there is nothing a layer of wood chips can’t solve.
Add a thick layer of wood chips on the soil in summer. This layer of wood chips prevents the water from evaporating and keeps the soil moist throughout the day. Ultimately, the plants will consume more water and stay hydrated in the summer heat.
4. Moderate Soil Temperature
Excess heat isn’t your garden soil’s only enemy. Cold winter nights can also cause irreversible damage to your plants. Experts suggest that if the garden soil gets too cold, it can prevent the seeds from germinating.
Furthermore, cold weather affects the growth of your already bloomed plants as well. How can you stop that? The answer is simple, wood chips.
Just like most people, I clean my raised beds and gardens before winter. Then add a thick layer of wood chips to the soil and spread it evenly. This prevents the soil from getting too cold during the winter and helps the plants grow normally.
5. Prevents Soil Erosion
People who live in a windy area or somewhere where it rains regularly face garden soil erosion problems. If that is you, then the best tip I can give you is using the wood chip as mulch. The material adds a protective layer on top of the soil and prevents soil erosion.
6. Repels Pests
If your garden has ever become a victim of pests, then you’d know how difficult it is to get rid of them. No matter if it’s whiteflies or termites, once they’ve invaded your garden, they aren’t leaving.
Yes, you can use insecticides and pesticides to kill the pest. But the situation gets tricky when you’re growing fruits and can’t use chemicals.
In situations like this, wood chips can save the day. Cedar and pine wood chips are famous for being an amazing pesticide. Furthermore, as both kinds of wood get a long time decomposing, your plants would be safe for months.
How to dispose of wood chips
So you’ve bought a wood chipper to clean up around the garden (or for other instances), and now you’re looking for some guidance to get rid of the result of those branches/wood?
You’ve come to the right place. I’ll list some ways you could dispose of those wood chips.
1. Sell it
Don’t want the wood chips to go to waste? You can opt to sell the wood chippings as they have many uses. If you have a considerable amount of wood chippings, pack it up and sell it on online services or to a local in your community.
This way, not only you’d be able to get rid of the wood chippings but also make a little money.
2. Donate it
If you don’t want to go through selling the wood chippings and would rather get rid of it immediately, a donation is a good option. Look for local community gardens or ask around the neighborhood if anyone needs extra nutrient-dense material for their gardens.
When donating them, make sure you mention which type of tree you chipped so that the people can use the chipping the right way.
3. Pay for disposal or burn it
You can dispose of your wood chippings by paying local recycling services to get rid of it for you. Another option would be to burn the wood chippings yourself.
How to recycle wood chips
Let’s say you don’t want to get rid of your wood chippings. You want to get the best possible use of all the resources you hold around your farm/household. Recycling wood chips is a great alternative to disposing of them.
They can be used for many activities, such as:
As for outdoor cooking, if you used charcoal in the past, you’ve already cooked over a form of hardened wood. Wood chippings are also used in the grill or a smoker.
I don’t particularly appreciate making extra carbon for no productive outcome. What you can do instead is, get the bigger pieces and use them for your pellet grills as they make great fire starters or for outdoor cooking. The burnt wood also gives a deep flavor to the BBQ so that you won’t be disappointed at all.
2. Path Material
If you have a huge garden with alleys in between each plant row, then you can use the wood chips for path material. Shred the chips into fine pieces and then spread them in the path.
One downfall is that the wood chips break down fast, and this method isn’t permanent. But whenever you see your pathway wearing off, scoop a little wood chipping and scatter them around the plants.
3. Livestock Bedding
Use it as bedding for playgrounds, chicken runs, or as livestock bedding. Caution should be had here as some wood chippings can hurt your livestock through mold or due to the chippings’ sharpness.
Wood chippings are great material for maintaining your soil. Spread them on your garden soil for extra nutrition for your plants. However, the result depends on the kind of wood you’ve chipped and on your environmental soil. So, do your research beforehand.
Wood chip mulch pros and cons
Decided you want to use wood chip mulch around your garden? Great choice, but everything comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Before you start using wood chips as mulch, here are some insights you might need:
- It is a nutrient-dense material that will slowly break down. Once you’ve scattered wood chips on your garden soil, your plants can get their benefits for a long time.
- Wood chippings help the soil retain the moisture it needs. This leaves you with less watering days if you take the time to rake and fluff the mulch.
- Soil erosion is another issue that can be troublesome in your garden/homestead. Using wood chips as mulch helps keep the soil in place. It helps to keep pests away.
- Wood chips promote fungal growth, not bacterial. Fungi can quickly overrun your yard, so caution should be taken.
- Wood chip mulch contains a higher carbon concentration. This means you’d need some composted manure to provide that much-needed nitrogen.
- Depending on the wood chip you’re using, it can add more acidity to your soil.
- Some woods, such as walnuts, contain a biochemical that can seriously harm your plants’ growth.
So that’s exactly what to do with wood chipper chips.
Hope you found what you were looking for in this guide.