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Author Topic: wood chips etc.  (Read 701 times)

Socrates

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wood chips etc.
« on: May 26, 2018, 03:57:43 PM »
First off, excuse me for starting off another topic. However, i just found another amazing YouTube vid on wood chips and could not for the life of me find where to put it. This would not be that big of a problem, except i have by now become convinced that wood chips are an essential tool in creating soil (in one form or another). I have, therefore, given myself some work, for now i have to collect (links to) previous posts on wood chips and add them below. However, i believe the topic of wood chips and soil creation [petagenesis] warrants such effort. Having said that...


in what they DON'T tell you about WOOD CHIPS... a number of important wood chip-related issues are discussed, like:
- layering
- time
- sources
etc.
As amazing as wood chips are, there are things that can go wrong applying them. Fortunately, however, we need not all reinvent the wheel and we can learn from the mistakes of others so we don't need to waste time, effort and opportunities ourselves.

Basics
- aeration: do not mix in with soil, do not homogenize, don't stack too thickly
- humidity: fallen leaves and branches in forests do not get direct sunlight; your wood chips need moisture
- wood chips are not soil; they will stop seeds from sprouting and can rob soil of nitrates

Understand: wood chips are both a source of minerals and a carbon source, like the carbon one needs when piling up a compost heap. Because of the latter, it is good to have nitrogen-rich things like green/fresh leaves (etc.) mixed in with the wood chips. Also, it's wonderful for animals to defecate on wood chips; then the nitrogen and carbon can bind and speed up the process of deconstruction.

Though there are methods for speeding up the decomposition of the wood [like adding effective microorganisms], wood chips are a long term tactic. To put it bluntly: they are cheap and powerful but require time. Also, even with something as basic as wood chips, there are mistakes to be made, so get informed [which is the whole reason for this topic].


One example of how things could go horribly wrong when they might as well go wonderfully right...
If you walk around in a foresty area, there will be places where water collects due to gravity; ditches and such. These are the places where one will find deep (and good quality) soil. Such places can be surrounded by large areas with a thin layer of poor soil. The difference is moisture.
Therefore, a ditch in a forest would be an ideal location to spread out a load of wood chips, allowing them to decompose there. Contrarily, if one were to dump a pile of wood chips on top of a hill, even in a forest, it might never decompose properly or do so very slowly.
So if you understand what wood chips need in order to decompose, you can arrange an appropriate condition/locale for them. Ideally, one would also be adding nitrates in the form of urine or feces to the pile. In fact, it's not too far-fetched for [let's say a vegan] someone to keep animals for the sole purpose of acquiring the nitrates one needs for making soil with wood chips. After all, soil is life and wood chips can supply wonderful soil under the proper conditions.

OTHER GREAT SOURCES, LINKS and VIDS:
Woodchip Warning; Potential Issues in the Garden
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 03:10:34 PM by Socrates »
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R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 04:43:42 AM »
You had mentioned a while back Socrates that rotting logs on top of the soil were good for plants, so I've been putting firewood from the bottom of the stack on the garden.  Thanks for all the good information!  :)

ilinda

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2018, 10:29:51 AM »
Wood chips do have a lot of value.  When mom lived here on the farm she would regularly want to fill the walking spaces in the garden with wood chips, mainly cypress bark mulch.  I went along with it, as it did look good and repressed weeds for a while.

But after a while weeds of all kinds emerged and the hardest part was hand-weeding in and among those rough, and too-large chunks of bark mulch.  So it seems size matters.  The size of the particle/pieces is important for each task, as is also the type of tree from which the stuff derives.

I do agree wood chips can be a definite plus, but will do more research before applying them again, and as Socrates cautions, these are important:
- layering
- time
- sources
etc.


Jimfarmer

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 08:45:46 PM »
Cockroaches love loose wood chips.

R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 04:18:49 AM »
That's true.  Fortunately here, the Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach only survives a maximum of two weeks indoors, should it happen to hitchhike on firewood - it must forage out in nature to live, unlike other kinds.

R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2018, 04:05:37 PM »
Ilinda, how long did your mother live on the farm?  It must have been wonderful having here there.

ilinda

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 07:16:23 PM »
Ilinda, how long did your mother live on the farm?  It must have been wonderful having here there.
Almost 10 years and we got to know each other better and am so glad we had the experience.

R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 03:48:34 AM »
What a wonderful decade that must have been.  Did you learn any skills from her?

ilinda

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 08:50:30 AM »
What a wonderful decade that must have been.  Did you learn any skills from her?
Certainly wanted to.  But alas, I knew years ago she had transitioned from home-grown, pesticide-free foods which she grew when we children were small, to an increasing amount of processed foods.  It was so easy!

Because she was unaware of "hidden salt" and other dietary facors, I helped her improve her diet by incorporating baked potatoes, avocados, yogurt, and a few other things.  She used to know the value of whole, natural foods.  Sometimes I think it is up to the aware younger generation to nudge the straying elders back to their old ways.

Not meaning to cast any aspersions on her, as she taught me many good things, including how to grow an organic garden, but dad was the one who was so helpful in teaching how he poured concrete, wired receptacles, toenailed 2 X 4's, dug a 20' well by hand, and many other tricks. 

Have you had the opportunity to learn skills or other things from you parents or grandparents?

R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 04:39:52 AM »
It's wonderful Ilinda that you improved your mother's diet, and that you learned so many skills from your father!

Grandmother Edith taught me some of Cayce's prophecies and root cellaring.  Dad taught me Nostradamus' prophecies and encouraged me to read Sitchin, and we discussed all of his writings over long phone conversations, as we were 1500 miles apart after I married and moved away.  Mom taught me how to sew and cook. 

Grandpa Ed was an ag consultant to the Native American tribes in Oklahoma, so I learned gardening from him, as well as canning.  My other grandparents also farmed and kept bees, so comb honey was always present on the breakfast table when I was growing up, which encouraged me toward bee keeping.   :)


Socrates

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luck/bless
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 01:00:38 AM »
Grandmother Edith taught me some of Cayce's prophecies and root cellaring.  Dad taught me Nostradamus' prophecies and encouraged me to read Sitchin, and we discussed...
You know you're lucky/blessed, right...?  ;)
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R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 03:02:55 AM »
I always thought we had kind of an odd family Soc, but yes a blessing too while they were alive.  Just as Dad and I were finishing with Sitchin, he said goodbye to me and slipped into a coma from a brain tumor, and it has been such a blessing to find all of you to discuss these things with again, and in a whole new light.  :)

ilinda

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 08:16:57 PM »
I always thought we had kind of an odd family Soc, but yes a blessing too while they were alive.  Just as Dad and I were finishing with Sitchin, he said goodbye to me and slipped into a coma from a brain tumor, and it has been such a blessing to find all of you to discuss these things with again, and in a whole new light.  :)
Wow, your family comes across as truly "outside the box", and your dad must have been a really open-minded being!  And Socrates is right that you are blessed.  Betcha you might not have felt so "blessed" as a child though!

R.R. Book

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Re: wood chips etc.
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 06:03:50 AM »
 :)

 

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