Best Wood Chip Mulch for Your Vegetable Garden

Best Wood Chip Mulch for Your Vegetable Garden

What’s the best wood chip mulch to use in your vegetable garden? I answer this question in today’s video.

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7 reasons why arborist wood chips are the best wood chip mulch for your vegetable garden:

0:34 they support a broad diversity of soil life and promote healthier plants
1:08 their diversity in materials and particle sizes results in less compaction compared to uniform mulches
1:32 they are large enough to remain on the soil surface
2:03 they don’t tie up nitrogen in the root zone
2:50 they break down slowly
3:27 they are local and sustainable
3:53 they are the least expensive option

Source:
“Using Arborist Wood Chips as Landscape Mulch” by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott https://research.libraries.wsu.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/2376/5262/FS160E.pdf?sequence=2

I’m passionate about an approach to organic gardening that is frugal, easy, sustainable, and works with nature to achieve amazing results. My videos will help you grow more healthy organic fruits and vegetables, while working less and saving money. I don’t push gardening products. I don’t hype bogus “garden secrets”. I provide evidence based strategies to help you grow a lot of food on a little land without spending much or working harder than you have to!

50 Comments

  1. 5200 on April 6, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve heard that black walnut is terrible for garden use. 1. Do you think its as big of a deal as many people say? 2. If so how do you know your not getting black walnut in your wood chips? Thank you for your time

  2. Charles Coker on April 6, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Are you still making Biochar?

  3. Vatsis G on April 6, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    How to add hot compost after the soil is covered with wood chips?

  4. John Purser on April 6, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I tried the getchipdrop.com site. There is no information on what is involved until you set up your account. Once it’s set up you can read the FAQ that says you just committed to having up to 15 cubic yards of of chips dropped somewhere in your yard or by the street with no notice. There is no way to turn off the account or delete it.

    I recommend not touching them until you’re SURE you want that much material and can commit to being ready to accept it with no notice for as long as it takes to get a load.

    I’m sure this service cannot possibly work the way it seems to. Perhaps there are several features that are there, just not mentioned on the website which is pretty minimal. But at this point I’m crossing my fingers and hoping I can get my account deleted BEFORE someone dumps 15 cubic yards of chips in the very busy road in front of my house.

    I think I’ll call some tree services directly and see what we can work out.

    I have a couple of letter in to their help/information e-mail address. I’ll update this with any new info, especially if I’m as wrong as I think I am.

  5. 707mrb on April 6, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Good info Patrick. Thanks.

  6. Melinda Lemmon on April 6, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Just for paths??

  7. L O F E N O I A L O F on April 6, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Do you recommend using wood chips in veggie containers ? How about with persimmons ? It seems like the ground under the persimmons is hard and clay rich . Would adding a thick layer of wood chips and watering more frequently be helpful?

    Thank you

  8. Dan Jackson on April 6, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    will continuous application of Conifer wood chips eventually make the soil slightly acid ?

  9. Jim Willeford on April 6, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Glad for your garden, but you also have a perfect voice for radio.

  10. Carol Schedler on April 6, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you so much! Trees being cut across the street we are grabbing a truck load of wood chips from branches with leaves. . .and quickly looked up to make sure this is safe for our garden. So happy to have found your dependable information!

  11. cimwandaful on April 6, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for this video! I’ve been collecting wood chips from a local arborist dumping site. I’ve been concerned because the chips are of vastly differing sizes and several different types of wood. Also included are stems and leaves. Now I can rest easy since watching this tutorial on wood chips! Thanks! I do have a problem though. My neighbors dogs have been digging around my blueberry plants and other berries. I’m concerned that some of the wood chips have gotten mixed in with the root zone of the blueberries. If that is the case, what do you suggest I do to mitigate a depletion of the nitrogen around them?

  12. Gnorts Mr Alien on April 6, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    0:47 "A diverse population of beneficial soil organisms…" Apparently you’ve got invasive Asian jumping worms as well. Yikes. Nice video and info though.

  13. Sunny Life on April 6, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Can I use Pine wood shavings?

  14. Mic Pres on April 6, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Thankyou for this vidoe I have been getting my garden/yard ready  for my first delivery of wood chips nest week and your advice to look for them free was perfect

  15. Jason Kinsfather on April 6, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Love the winter sweatshirt Patrick. I hope Oscar got some catnip mice for Christmas.

  16. Farhana NYC on April 6, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Not all arborist wood chips are great for vegetable garden. Some are acidic and arent well suited for all veggies.

  17. Never Winter Farms on April 6, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    What kind of boots are you wearing?

  18. L O F E N O I A L O F on April 6, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Are there any types of wood that you do not recommend ? For instance do some types of wood contain diseases that could spread to the garden ? The local free wood looks like it comes from eucalyptus , sycamore , and some other trees.

    Thank you !

  19. Derek Fenton on April 6, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Patrick, I have recently started watching your video series and really enjoy them. I recently had a large pine taken down that was a danger to my house. I am left with a large pile of wood chips from the stump grinding. What are your thoughts on adding pine both to a compost bin and into the garden either on the beds or in the walk ways.

  20. jeepgirl2c on April 6, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Just received my first chip drop! Really excited to have a beautiful walking path in the garden. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Charles Coker on April 6, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Some have found Woodchips work great around fruit trees, and perennials. Not so much for annuals,like vegetables.

  22. Felicia H on April 6, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Patrick! I just sent you a copy of my soil test via Facebook messenger. I am not sure what happened with the brewery grains -they did compost. However, there was definitely something wrong -I stayed pure with only compost, no dig, no store bought, and no pesticides etc

  23. Raina Croner on April 6, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Do you add your wood mulch in your vegetable garden and then till it in in the Spring? I have a large garden and I am trying to control the weeds while having a good soil composition. Any help would be great. Thank you

  24. Greenbelt Maryland on April 6, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    Great video, Patrick! In several replies you list where you use these chips but never mention near shrubs or trees. Except for the warning to keep them from touching the trunks, any reason why they shouldn’t be used in all ornamental landscaping beds?

  25. Melinda Lemmon on April 6, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    Tuning of guitar please?

  26. منذر الدليمي on April 6, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    I will buy wood chips from carpenter is that a good to my garden ?

  27. Lamprine Datsika on April 6, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Good Morning Patrick. Thank you very much!

  28. OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening on April 6, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    7 reasons why arborist wood chips are the best wood chip mulch for your vegetable garden:

    0:34 they support a broad diversity of soil life and promote healthier plants
    1:08 their diversity in materials and particle sizes results in less compaction compared to uniform mulches
    1:32 they are large enough to remain on the soil surface
    2:03 they don’t tie up nitrogen in the root zone
    2:50 they break down slowly
    3:27 they are local and sustainable
    3:53 they are the least expensive option

    Source:
    "Using Arborist Wood Chips as Landscape Mulch" by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott https://research.libraries.wsu.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/2376/5262/FS160E.pdf?sequence=2

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  29. Vatsis G on April 6, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Hello. In the wood chips we sow from the first year, immediately after the first layer?

  30. Andrew Batistatos on April 6, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Would it be bad to add 6 inch of woodchips with no newspaper or cardboard down?

  31. HN D on April 6, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    How thick of the wood chips should we apply/maintain?

  32. Joseph Meadows on April 6, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    If you use these type of wood chips in the garden bed, what do you do to prepare your garden beds the next year? Do you till them in or rake them out and work the garden beds first?

  33. Bad Vibes NoSleep on April 6, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    awesome sweatshirt!! We are waiting for our wood chip delivery, its free so it will be here when it gets here haha

  34. Alexander Supertramp on April 6, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    ur the man

  35. Highland's Giving Garden on April 6, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    I live in California which has lots of palm trees. I’ve been told NOT to put palm mulch in our community garden. Why is that? I’ve been told the same thing about eucalyptus as well.

  36. Duncan Crow on April 6, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    I gather and shred baby Red Alder trees green, leaves and all, so there’s little nitrogen draw, and compost the mulch for a few months before spreading or digging them in. A friend mentioned shredded ramial wood and I found a lot of science about it and in French bois raméal fragmenté. Takehome point is that green hardwood can rot fast and not draw much nitrogen because the lignin is still unseasoned. That is, if the wood and bark are still green the ramial wood appeals to a different range of composters, especially mushrooms, earthworms and generally a humic soil environment. I use a Mackissic SC800 hammer mill shredder and it comes out about perfect with the stock 1" screen. Research I read found that if some of the material comes through shredded a bit lengthwise and not always chopped to a uniform cube so to speak, the desirable mycelia spreads faster.

  37. ud1976 on April 6, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    Great information. Thanks! Do you have any idea about how to get rid of quack-grass, organically? I’ve been battling it for 3 years now. Up here in Seattle it seems to grow back, underground, in winter.

  38. Raul Marquez on April 6, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Great info will be adding this to my new garden this weekend.

    Chipdrop.com gives you free truck loads, save your account with them as a bookmark and every season it’s literally one click to schedule a new load each season if you like.

    Do you turn your bed each new season?

  39. Derek Thompson on April 6, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Any chance arborist wood chips could add tree-borne pests or disease to your soil or garden? My neighbor owns a landscaping company, so I may give him a buzz!

  40. Felicia H on April 6, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Any ideas about which compost is better to grow in? I use a mix of leaves, vegetable and fruit waste, brewery grains but was not successful last year. Soil test said I was lacking nitrogen so I trying cover crops. Charles dowsing uses old horse manure. What are your thoughts?

  41. Garden Nerd on April 6, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Wholehearted agreement on the benefits of arborists’ woodchips! 😉Just got my very first ChipDrop a week ago, and the garden is already showing significant improvements. I watched this video for the first time last year, but the work schedule didn’t allow for a chance to set up a drop right away. I just wanted to say thank you for the great information.

  42. Harrell T on April 6, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    I like how you mention about the various size of the mulch. I notice alot of people sift their compost and i think this is not good as it doesnt provide the aeration that bigger particles provide. Various size materials in compost also pipelines the available nutrients as bigger chunks break down later while smaller chunks provide nutrients now.

  43. Brittany Morgan on April 6, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    In Georgia, almost all of our chip resources are fresh pine with green needles mixed in. Do I need to age or compost them before using them over our compost?

  44. Vladimir on April 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    do you have softwood mulch? I’m a newbie, I read that it acidifies the soil, or everything will be fine? thank you!

  45. ACORN Homestead on April 6, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Fell in with a guy yesterday who said I can take all I want of his trailer full… Wish I had insurance on my truck!

  46. Walter Blackledge on April 6, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    A pitch fork works SO much better than a spade type shovel for mulch/chips, etc.

  47. Sweet Vuvuzela on April 6, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Good job they also break down clay soils over time improving draining and water retention

  48. Wendy’s Urban Homestead on April 6, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    What about Raccoons?
    They tend to poop on the wood chips.
    What do you do about this problem?

  49. Arin G. on April 6, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Love this channel

  50. Winona Johnston on April 6, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    What an awesome video!!!! Thank you so much for explaining about arborist wood chips and giving us the link. I went to their Facebook page AND signed up from their link to their website!!! I also am SHARING your video and the Chip Drop F/B page.

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