Fresh Wood Chips Directly on the Garden


Hey, it’s Jason again from Fraser Valley Rose Farm and to answer the question right off the top of the video Yes I am going to go ahead and use it fresh wood chips as a mulch in my garden Amongst my roses and other perennials and I do so against a bit of common garden advice Which says that if you put freshly chipped wood in as a mulch around your garden it will rob Nitrogen from your soil and make your plants deficient So I’ll go ahead and show you why I’m so confident doing so I’ve researched the topic. I’ve had some experience with it So let me share that information with you now on my farm here I grow plenty of hungry plants and by that, I mean, I grow roses like these ones here But I also grow other flowering shrubs fruiting shrubs lots of colorful perennials that bloom their heads off through the season So routinely, I do a top dress of granular fertilizer So a couple years ago I had a fresh pile of wood chips in my in my yard from from an ice storm that we’d had and the landscapers had chipped that wood for us and the decision to make do I Let it compost there in the pile or do I put it fresh down on the field and for me it was not a hard Decision I have to say because honestly if I’m already fertilizing in the field anyway What trouble is a little extra nitrogen? So as far as garden problems go nitrogen is an easy one to fix. If you want to do it Organically, you can add liquid fish fertilizer you can add Alfalfa is fine to increase your nitrogen levels in your soil or if you’re going chemically easy to add a little extra Fertilizer or calcium nitrate as a liquid feed. So it really didn’t give me any pause at all I went ahead and used up the fresh wood chips on some of my roses and then I waited to see would those ones there have Any kind of a nutritional deficiency? Compared to the roses that were not mulched with the fresh wood chips and I waited for nothing in the end There was no difference between the two sets of roses. None of them had any nutritional problems and so it got me to researching the problem or researching the question of does fresh woodchips raw nitrogen from your soil and as it turns out It’s kind of a misleading Piece of garden advice you see the fresh woodchips do exchange nitrogen with the very top layer of your soil That exchange of nitrogen helps to break down the wood chips the problem Is that for deep-rooted plants like my roses or like my perennials or like my other shrubs It has no effect at all. It doesn’t it doesn’t exchange nitrogen with those deeper layers of soil. So really that robbing of nitrogen really can only affect the most shallow rooted of your annuals say something like You know annual pansies or your your lettuce or something like that May have a problem with fresh woodchips in your garden But again can be resolved fairly easily with additional nitrogen fertilizer so the other thing I will say about the Deep-rooted plants like this is they benefit from that mulch in so many other ways there’s the suppression of the weeds There’s the moderation of soil moisture and soil temperature and then of course eventually that mulch improves the Quality of the soil greatly by adding organic matter which improves structure of the soil. So actually let me show you real quick here I’ll pull out some samples from an unimproved portion of my garden plus one that I’ve improved with woodchips over the course of three or four years here and I’ll show you the difference between those soils ok still out here in the Rose Garden and I’ve taken a couple of samples here of My garden soil and see this one here, and I hope the color shows up nicely on This video is that this one is my regular unimproved river bottom garden soil We’re on a on an island in the Fraser River here. So all of this is pure alluvial soil and This one here is the one where I’ve been adding woodchips for a number of years. It hasn’t been tilled That’s not I’ve been pushing it in. It’s just breaking down from top to bottom and you can see that the color is darker between the two samples and I actually can tell you that it’s crumbly A better quality overall garden soil so I’m very Impressed with the the quality improvement that I’ve seen here I made another video on how to improve Or clay soils where I do a more in-depth comparison between my garden soils and the improved garden soils But yeah, this is this will give you the gist of it Anyway, alright So that’s my quick summary of why I never hesitate to add fresh wood chips into my garden here on the farm If you have any questions on the topic or even want to debate the point happy to take your comments down below this video Thanks, as always

10 thoughts on “Fresh Wood Chips Directly on the Garden

  1. I have used many many yards of wood chips in my flowerbed since last July.
    I've never noticed any problems whatsoever, the plants love it. I have Very heavy clay soil here in California. The chips breakdown fast and everywhere I have chips the ground is much softer .

  2. Hi Jason, just subscribed 🙂 I am so very happy to see someone, anyone, selecting a genre like you have. Very impressed in your whole selection of videos for these "types" of plants. I randomly saw this title and I was hooked.
    I live a block away from a saw mill in Montana. I can get all the chips I want for free for the garden, but have always shied away from doing so because of this test subject you've completed. So I thank you! One question though…our trees are beetle kill trees. Will this affect using them in my garden? Are there certain depletions that exist because of their death via beetles?
    You may not have this info, but I can't find any info on if this is a good source? Any help you can provide would be great and truly appreciated if possible. I am by no means a chemist in garden and don't quite understand things. Either way, even if you can't help, I will stick around forever. I love all your plant topics and even understanding massive plantings, tips and tricks. Thank you beyond what words can express.

  3. Thanks for the video! Unfortunately i’ve got no wood chips available. Would pine or larch bark make much difference?

  4. In 2014 I saved my dying garden from weeds, compacted soil and earwigs with Redwood chips, I don't understand the impact of redwood chips on earwigs but something definitely happened to them, the down side to woodchips is they harbor baby slugs to no end during the spring and Fall, I made a nice discovery about how to control them all naturally, you place wads of moist decaying weeds outside of your garden bed and you will catch 90% percent of your slugs off those decaying moist weeds when you go out with a flashlight to save those little sprouts.

  5. Great information and delivery! I just got some free pine tree mulch from someone who cut down a few trees, now I know it's safe to lay it down fresh. I found their listing on the Facebook marketplace by chance, communities y'all live in look out for each other! Always look around

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