Question Woodchip ground cover for veggie patch.

kaltemrix

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Hey all!

My fiance and are starting a project soon to transform one side of our house to into a full veggie patch. We have been stocking cardboard for ages to use as weed mat, and am planning on contacting some local tree loppers to see if they will dump a bunch of wood chip on my drive way to put on top of the cardboard.

My question is: Is there anything I should look out for when using woodchip as ground cover? Or is it likely going to no issue whatever it is? I don't really plan on using it in any raised garden bed we'll have in the area, it's basically just something instead of grass to walk on, with maybe a few stepping stones.
 
The biggest issue here is that we struggle with termites. The more wood, the bigger an issue.
I've also heard that woodchip can deplete the nitrogen in soil as it decomposes.

Then again... if it's ised as a footpath rather than in a garden it shouldn't pose too much of an issue - I think.
I haven't ever used wood myself.
 
Good call on the termites! I think if I leave a buffer, say 6 inches between the mulch and the house I might be ok. Might use some recycled plastic garden edging to help enforce that buffer too, and use some dirt to fill in that gap.
 
You need a non soil barrier between the grass & house, concrete ideally. Termites will go underground, then make mud tunnels up into the floor/walls.

It was something a building inspector told me to consider when looking for a house. He said that you end up with termite, moisture & mould issues if there is a garden up against the wall.

Woodchips work great as a walkway though, excellent at keeping weeds & grasses down if you use a nice thick layer. You also don't get muddy after a big downpour!
 
Wood chip has spawned a movement in gardening - if I recall the name correctly, Back to Eden is a short film based around the gardening of Paul Gautschi using a thick wood chip mulch in his orchard and vegetable plot.

Regarding nitrogen depletion, I’d heard it occurs at a very thin layer at the soil / wood chip transition - in other words that it isn’t really an issue.

If you can get a thick enough layer of wood chip, cardboard doesn’t matter and some horticulturists recommend staying away from it. It may relate to the nature of a given climate - for cardboard to break down, moisture is required so in a drier environment it remains more of a barrier for longer.

If you are replacing lawn with garden, one good method is to rent a sod cutter to be able to lift the sod, then turn it over (green side down) and for the most part the grass will be smothered. If you mulch over top of that, you can have good success with killing the grass without chemical.

Good luck.
 
Did you end up using woodchips @kaltemrix ? And if so, what kind?
I'd love to see what it looks like if you did it! :D
Unfortunately not yet. The few tree lopping places near us wanted around $60 per m3 for the woodchip, which is on the cheaper end, but more than what I was expecting for something they're taking to the tip anyway. Maybe I need to rethink the value of it, I could be undervaluing it.

We have laid the cardboard down over the area to start the supression of grass and weeds. I'll reply with some photos when we get around to mulching. Still need to apply garden edging to the side of the house and fill with stones.
 
Oh wow! much? I have to google..

We can buy a 70L pine bark mulch bag for less than $17 at Bunnings. They also do 1m3 for a $110 for landscapers or garden mulch, or $83 for black mulch. Kind of seems like you have a good deal up there now...
 
In North America, there's a site / app called Chip Drop, which matches people looking for wood chip and arborists looking for places to drop it off...it's usually free as it saves the arborists the fees to dump. Perhaps there's something similar in Australia (he typed hopefully).
 
In North America, there's a site / app called Chip Drop, which matches people looking for wood chip and arborists looking for places to drop it off...it's usually free as it saves the arborists the fees to dump. Perhaps there's something similar in Australia (he typed hopefully).
This is what I was after basically, but after further chatting with other Tree Removalists, they all want to drop it off in bulk. Im talking like 15-20m3 loads at a time. In the end, 4 bales of sugar cane mulch from Bunnings (our Home Depot) and that was plenty for a nice layer over the cardboard, which im quite happy with.
Woodchip ground cover for veggie patch.

(Please ignore my terrible edging job. The house slab underneath extends underground quite unevenly).
 
I have raised beds and in between all the beds and around the patch I have put dump mulch not wood chip
Dump mulch is free here and pretty clean my patch is nowhere near the house so not concerned about termites
My idea is over time I have compost at my disposal all around the floor of the patch I also throw lawn clippings around and any bits of veges and old plants
I never used cardboard just put a six to eight inch layer and manually pick weeds and grass out
Seems to be ok so far
 
Hey all!

My fiance and are starting a project soon to transform one side of our house to into a full veggie patch. We have been stocking cardboard for ages to use as weed mat, and am planning on contacting some local tree loppers to see if they will dump a bunch of wood chip on my drive way to put on top of the cardboard.

My question is: Is there anything I should look out for when using woodchip as ground cover? Or is it likely going to no issue whatever it is? I don't really plan on using it in any raised garden bed we'll have in the area, it's basically just something instead of grass to walk on, with maybe a few stepping stones.
We have a friend who is a tree guy and he dumps truckloads of chipped wood on the property for us we put it everywhere in the garden between rows we put down cardboard and then wood chips over the top of the cardboard to keep the weeds down...it is wonderful! The wood chips are from all kinds of trees oak trees Elm trees hickory trees all kinds.
We also put them in our raised beds when we make the raised beds we put old firewood that has rotted in the bottom then a layer of wood chips then topsoil on the top.
We use wood chips around all of our plants trees and shrubs😊👍
USA - NW Ark
 
That sounds amazing @nayday ! Just be careful that your soil doesn't become nitrogen-deficient as the wood starts breaking down. Other than that I can see it being absolutely amazing :D
 
Wood chip has spawned a movement in gardening - if I recall the name correctly, Back to Eden is a short film based around the gardening of Paul Gautschi using a thick wood chip mulch in his orchard and vegetable plot.

Regarding nitrogen depletion, I’d heard it occurs at a very thin layer at the soil / wood chip transition - in other words that it isn’t really an issue.

If you can get a thick enough layer of wood chip, cardboard doesn’t matter and some horticulturists recommend staying away from it. It may relate to the nature of a given climate - for cardboard to break down, moisture is required so in a drier environment it remains more of a barrier for longer.

If you are replacing lawn with garden, one good method is to rent a sod cutter to be able to lift the sod, then turn it over (green side down) and for the most part the grass will be smothered. If you mulch over top of that, you can have good success with killing the grass without chemical.

Good luck.
 
Don’t know about wood chips but I used straw for the first time this year. Rotavated in early spring then a thick layer of straw which I planted through. Massive impact on stopping weeds and underneath stayed quite moist (not surprising in an English summer you may say😂). A few more slug issues but definitely doing it next year.
 
Thank you for the feedback! Oh my! Like you're reading my mind! My garden has been established for 4 years now ...I have been tilling and amending this soil ..most of the grass is long gone, but i am extending it. The grass is wild, not sod but i do cover it to kill it and help with the removal, ugh bermuda grass! Since our property is always moving I use the grass that I've pulled to put in the low spots.
Once I build these beds I'm going to pull out my amended dirt and use it in my raised beds because that soil is incredibly fertile. We are blessed here with full seasons and lots of rainfall.
🌱💕🐝🙂🍁🍂🍃🐦
 
My first experience with wood chips was a disaster! I purchased late in the season and was only able to buy the larger sized chips--better not to do that if you are planning to put them near your garden beds. Too hard to stand on; too big to keep out weeds; too large to push around and get something resembling level and too nasty looking! I think I am going to go with what Mark has said: leave it in grass and weed whack around the planters. For me that means I give up the opportunity to discourage grasshoppers. I have blowing grass and other agricultural seeds from the rancher next door and they seem to take root everywhere. I don't want to go around pulling grass out of my bark, rather weed whack what I can't stop from happening!
 
Im sorry you had a bad experience we only put wood chips in between our rows and they are custom chipped to size because our friend chips them out of the trees he fells... we don't purchase them. I always wonder what is in those store-bought chips especially the ones that are dyed red or black ...
thank you for sharing your experience all info is great
Happy Gardening
 
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