Wood chips can come in different sizes or grades and can be made from different types of wood. Even something as troubling as a fallen tree can be chipped up and used to help the grass, flowers and other plants grow. When you have an abundance of wood chips and no idea how to use them, put them to good use in your garden!
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Use Wood Chip as a Mulch
The first and best thing to do with your wood chips is to use it as a mulch in your garden or in your growing areas. Contrary to popular belief, mulching with wood chips does not tie up nitrogen, acidify soil, kill nearby plants or pass on diseases. As a general rule, the larger the pieces of wood, the longer they will take to break down.
Wood Chips To Prevent Soil Erosion
Covering the bare areas in your lawn or garden with wood chips, mulch or straw is an effective method for preventing erosion from wind and rain. Erosion control keeps your garden and landscaping plants healthier, while also reducing muddy run-off from your property into the streets and neighborhood.
Add Wood Chip To Your Compost Heap
Wood chips can be added to compost, where they will break down and add nutrients. Wood chips, with their rigid structure, also enhance the flow of air through the compost since they are less prone to compact. This is good for the heap.
Use Wood Chip as a Path Material
Informal paths and walkways in your garden can be mulched with wood chips to prevent soil erosion and compaction. This is a great way to repurpose a large quantity of material from trees you remove from your property and send through the chipper.
Use Wood Chip To Build Up Raised Beds
Wood chips can be great for building up raised beds using wood waste, leaves, needles, and grass clippings to let the compost break down naturally and planting it once the process is almost completed. The new growing areas will break down slowly, over several seasons, while the nitrogen rich additives will heat up sooner making the bed usable in a season, if it’s kept wet.
Spread Wood Chip Around a Kids’ Play Area
Another good way to use wood chips is to cover the ground around a kids’ play area. If you’ve got a backyard playset for the kids, a thick layer of wood chips provides a good ground cushioning to absorb a lot of energy during an accidental fall. It can also stop the kids area from turning into a muddy mess.
Wood Chips To Control Invasive Plant Growth
Wood chips not only form an attractive border to divide your property lines but they keep wild plants from encroaching onto your lawn. As long as you keep the mulch thick, almost no weeds will grow in your paths. The exceptions are the few seeds that fly in from a wind and perennial weeds like Bermuda grass.
Use Wood Chip in a DIY Smoker or Barbecue Grill
Finally, if you do like to barbecue or have an outdoors smoker, you can also use certain types of wood chips to impart different smoky flavors to your food. Experiment for yourself and see what works best for you. Because wood chips burn out quickly, soaking chips will naturally slow down the process.