Is woodchip good or bad for a vegetable garden bed?

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Mark, May 6, 2016.

?

Do you think woodchip is bad to use in your vegetable garden?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,748
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Up until now, I have never used woodchip as mulch in my vegetable garden beds because I have always heard woodchip can deplete the soil of nutrients (particularly nitrogen) and that's not a good thing when growing a food garden.

    However, something deep down in my instinctive gut kept nagging away at me over the years urging me to use woodchip in my patch even just as a trial... And, lately (the past few years) I had been reading and seeing videos about others who do use woodchip in their food gardens with only positive results!

    So I decided to finally give it a go in my raised garden beds and see what results I get. In truth, I have been mulching around my fruit trees with woodchip from when I first started our orchard and all the fruit trees seem to have done well - I've certainly seen nothing negative.

    We have a lot of established trees on our property and they tend to drop a lot of debris, plus the odd fallen tree or big branch, not to mention the pruning I do, and all this gets chipped into mulch once or twice a year. It always made sense to me to use it as a free mulch around the ornamental garden and orchard, therefore, I'm thinking why not in the vegetable garden!?

    What do you guys think - use the attached poll to cast your vote and post your thoughts why you believe woodchip is good or not in the vegetable garden?

    Here's a video I knocked up on preparing one of our raised beds with woodchip.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    I can't remember where i saw it (probably on SSC) but there was someone who use bulk wood chips on their whole property and added mushroom spores to break it down quicker. It was an awesome idea and their soil looked pretty healthy to me.
    I think plants/trees etc are just an extension of the soil so they should compliment just about any crop nicely. It will slowly break down and in the mean time provide all the good things that mulch does (cool the soil, retain moisture etc). There's probably some exceptions with specific species that don't mix with certain crops but lets not complicate the issue, stick to the KISS principal.
    Play on I say.....and can't wait to see the results. :twothumbsup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,748
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    The use of mushroom spores is a good idea.

    When I was moving the mulch from its heap I could already see the white "roots" like veins forming through it from fungi I suppose slowly breaking the mulch down.

    Yes I tend to agree... it makes sense woodchip being plant material and organic should give more than it receives. If (for argument sake) the process of breaking down the chip removes some nitrogen from the soil then it's just a simple matter of adding a little extra nitrogen fertiliser - too easy ;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. GlennoFromKenno

    GlennoFromKenno Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Surely the rate of nitrogen depletion would be too slow to affect most annual crops? Might be an issue for longer term perennial beds, but a bit of chicken poo/other nitrogen rich fertiliser should fix up the balance no? Looking forward to hearing more about how your experiment goes mate.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,748
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Yes that's a good point and I'd think the rate of nitrogen usage by the woodchip would have to be pretty slow (if at all) I just don't know for certain.

    Yesterday I threw 3 wheelbarrows of woodchip in our quail pen for them to work over and turn into a fertiliser mulch hopefully in about 3 months.

    Putting it through the quail pen first before the garden should work well but I expect you could get a similar result by adding some organic chicken pellet fertiliser (like Rooster Booster) to the woodchip in the garden bed as a way to correct the loss of nitrogen.

    Welcome to SSC @GlennoFromKenno cheers mate :cheers:
     
  6. GlennoFromKenno

    GlennoFromKenno Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Thanks mate! I found this place after watching a bunch of your fantastic youtube clips!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,748
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hahaha... Yes fantastic indeed... many of them are rather cringeworthy but I get a lot of fun out of making youtube videos - I'm improving slowly :D

    Thanks
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
Loading...

Share This Page