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Old 12-02-2020, 05:28 PM #1
LizardMan
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Wood chips into soil?

So I've read that adding wood chips into the soil bind up nitrogen. I was wondering if i was to add a little extra nitrogen if it would compensate that initial nitrogen lose from decomposing the wood material. Then in the long run turn into more carbon and nitrogen down the road?

I have a bag of soft wood animal bedding that should break down fairly quickly with a high fungal bed.. Or is soft wood not a smart choice?

If anyone could chime in on if i should or shouldn't... If not ill likely do one bed as a test run
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:34 PM #2
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Good question.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:41 PM #3
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Originally Posted by LizardMan View Post
So I've read that adding wood chips into the soil bind up nitrogen. I was wondering if i was to add a little extra nitrogen if it would compensate that initial nitrogen lose from decomposing the wood material. Then in the long run turn into more carbon and nitrogen down the road?

I have a bag of soft wood animal bedding that should break down fairly quickly with a high fungal bed.. Or is soft wood not a smart choice?

If anyone could chime in on if i should or shouldn't... If not ill likely do one bed as a test run
What is the purpose of adding it, are you mixing it into the soil or putting it on top as a mulch layer?
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:45 PM #4
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The standard advice is to use wood chips on top of the soil, or to compost them first.

Is there some special reason for mixing the wood chips into the soil?
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:51 PM #5
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I read if you put the wood chips on top of the soil there is little/ no nitrogen loss if they are exposed to oxygen when they decompose.
I will be doing this on a large scale next year. I will report back with details.

Best of luck
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:16 PM #6
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I do it on top as a mulch layer for water retention, and natural weed barrier outdoors for my veggie garden and see no issues, gorilla ganja....

Id be adding roughly 3 gallons to a 2ftx4ftx18inch bed and mixing it in to the soil its self.... I was thinking of using it to add a carbon source for future bed life, to help with microbial and fungal life, water retention/aeration and just to use up the bag of wood chips up sonce they have been in the garage for a year!!

I believe they are pine and very thin used for rabbit or dog house bedding. I do know some types of wood are more harmful then helpful.

Im more curious as to how much nitrogen they steal as I've read numerous stuff from the world wild web... I figure if i add an extra cup or 2 of something like a blood meal to compensate for the leaching of nitrogen it balance out for the time being.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:31 PM #7
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I personally wouldn't do it.

All I know is from researching hugelkultur, never bury fresh wood in the soil. It would be impossible to determine what is the correct amount of nitrogen to add back?

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Old 12-02-2020, 07:45 PM #8
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Some animal bed chips are cedar. They make fence posts from cedar because it lasts a long time when buried.

When I was a kid my father and I drove out to the woods in Ojai, and brought back a trunk full of mulch from the woods floor. Used it in the planters around the house. I have thought of doing that in my old woods, to supplement the garden.

Probably just brought in termites.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:00 PM #9
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Not recommended to use fresh wood chips mixed into soil, ok to use as mulch though. Mushrooms thrive on decomposing hardwood trees.

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Originally Posted by slownickel
Soaking wood chips for 2 weeks in water. Brilliant! And thinking back, makes a huge amount of sense.

The idea would be to run the soaked chips, innoculate with your chose endo's and then mulch with them and even scratch some into your soil.....

The problem with getting wood chips down into the soil is that they will suck up nitrogen in the worst way. Making your need for additional nitrogen to make anything grow, even worse. I would venture to say that mixing into the first 4 inches would be plenty and then mulching on top would add the final touch.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:10 PM #10
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Well its been determined vast majority say not a good idea... So ill do 1 out of 3 beds and see what the fuck happens... Better to learn from a failure then to never try out the idea!!

Side note, really fucked up idea!! now mulch the wood chips in and then plant a cover crop of some hairy vetch and/or crimson clover. Which should help with little nitrogen in the upper layers once chop and drop green mulch...

Maybe i should lay off the hash for a few days hahahaha!!!
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