"My Grand Mother once had five wood chips dropped into her garden when a tree was cut down. She couldn't use that bed for years. Was the chips robbing the nitrogen. Yep, can't use them wood chips." Such are the comments I hear all of the time. Not grounded from one's own experience or scientific evidence, but from urban legend. Please check out this link for positive comments:
|Bellevue free wood chip pile|
I have been using wood chips for garden paths for thirty years. And have never experienced a negative side effect. To the contrary, I swear to the benefits of greatly reduced weed populations, great moisture control, and on location soil improvement. After about three years, you can rake off the thinned layer of chips, and use a shovel to harvest the layer of black gold soil that has formed under the wood chips. After stripping out one or two inches of this loam, just start building up your chips again. I am always amazed at how quickly the garden eats wood chips, and how often I need to find more. Luckily, the park maintenance folks drop piles of free chips by the gardens, and tree services are often happy to drop chips at your home in order to avoid the tipping charges to drop them at the landfill. If using a tree service, ask them to drop only clean loads without branches or brush.
|Wood chips surround a garden bed|
|Bellevue, my plot, number 84|