There’s an ongoing debate as to whether wood chips are a beneficial form of garden mulch.
Some people believe they are helpful in providing a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients into the soil, while other people believe they absorb too much of the soil’s nitrogen; thus, preventing the healthy growth and development of any nearby plants.
But which one of these theories is actually correct? To understand the answer to this question, we must take a closer look at the direct effect wood chips have on the soil.
Keeping Your Garden “Natural”
Most experienced green thumbs will agree that a natural, organic garden is better than a garden ridden with artificial chemicals, herbicides and pesticides.
Not only will organic gardens yield healthier plant harvests, but it will also preserve the soil for generations to come. You may not realize it, but flooding the soil with large amounts of chemicals can make it inhabitable for plant growth.
This can essentially destroy your gardening real estate until the chemicals have fully dissipated and the soil gets back to normal. Of course, you can keep this from happening by taking the route of organic gardening, with all-natural ingredients and compost.
Wood chips is one type of all-natural ingredient that many people choose to use in their organic gardens. Plants growing in the wild are constantly exposed to pieces of wood from branches falling over or getting blown into the soil.
As a result, they’ve become accustomed to the structure and makeup of the wood. If you plan on using it in your garden, though, it’s important to only use 100% all-natural wood chips with no additional chemicals or preservatives.
Some companies may spray their chips with various chemicals to help prevent rotting or decay, but this can actually have a negative effect on your plants’ growth.
Benefits of Using Wood Chips In The Garden
The short answer is that YES, wood chips are useful in the garden, as they help promote larger, healthier plant growth.
After they’ve been sitting out on a plant bed for a while, all-natural wood chips with no preservatives will slowly begin to rot.
At first glance, you might think this is bad for your plants; however, rotting material increases the amount of nutrients your plants will receive simply by promoting the growth of microorganisms.
Another benefit to using wood chips in the garden is their high concentrations of carbon and cellulose, both of which are necessary for healthy plants.
Even as the wood begins to rot, it will still possesses a significant amount of these two compounds.
Plants thrive on carbon and cellulose, and using wood chips as garden mulch is the perfect way to offer these compounds to them.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding on how wood chips are used in the garden. It’s a cheap, simple, natural and extremely efficient form of mulch that’s useful in every outdoor garden.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or
Marie Watson says
Roy, thanks for explaining how wood chips can benefit your garden. I didn’t realize that they can promote healthier plant growth. It is interesting that the wood chips have high concentrations of carbon and cellulose to help the plants in your garden. I will have to look into purchasing some wood chips to use in my garden this summer.