28 thoughts on “BREAKING the #1 RULE in WOOD CHIPS gardening. Can I plant directly into wood chips?

    Physical Culturist

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    I obtained two large dumpster trucks full of wood chips via chipdrop.com for free earlier this year (April-ish)
    I have been adding grass clippings on top of the pile, but not much compared to the size of the wood chips pile. My chip drop location is on a major road right off two highways so I probably had good luck that way.
    Here is my question for you reading this (thank you!): I am using these fresh wood chips as a mulch and weed barrier. I use cardboard as a weed block, spray it wet, then cover in a few inches of wood chips. I intend to add a few more inches later this summer when I am not so busy planting. My question: can I dig through the wood chips and cardboard, spread them out of the way, and add perennial plants/trees in these wood chip mulch areas? How about the same but using annual flowers like sunflower and zinnia ?
    This is my plan, I am going ahead with it this season! Will you give me any tips and I will update later this season with how it all turns out. Cheers!

    St. Isidore's Farm

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Interesting timing. Was thinking about trying to plant some seeds directly in the wood chips in our garden. With our recent greenhouse project we had to move some areas of mulch that had been there a while. The soil underneath was amazing – more importantly it was not there – just sand on red clay. Now it has rich black soil.

    Farm_In_The MiddleOfTheWoods

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    We are hanging on the edge of our seats for the follow-up!!! We have chips that are just waiting for similar planting…. We are sooo looking forward to Spring…. we just had another 5 inches of snow…. yuck! Looks nice there…. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

    Rob C

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Mark, it was my understanding that after the wood chips have been down for at least one year, it is okay to plant directly in them.

    Judy Finn

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    This popped up in my feed. I'm 6B, as well, Bucks Co. Nice to have a local to follow!

    SouthernSpirit4Life

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Thanks for sharing the video. Just subscribed to your channel. Hope you do the same.

    How to garden with Hammerin' Hank

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Two years was enough for me to grow sugar snap peas directly in woodchips. I used mulch from a grinder.Good luck!

    Donald Damron

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Hi Mark, thanks for sharing, good to know info and look forward to end result. Happy gardening Don

    shashakeeleh

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Please do keep us updated.

    Marc Mallary

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Why not?

    Jim's In Town Gardening

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Mark, I am thinking because your wood chips have been breaking down and its very clear from what we see in the video that it surely had been breaking down, your snap peas will do fine. Here in Maine, I am very excited to get into my BTE gardens. I am going into my 3rd year of this method, but I still have 2 to 3 feet of snow on my main gardens.
    Blessings,
    Jim

    TLGardens

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    My bet is they'll do great. Great project. Looking forward to the followups.

    sazji

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    They should do fine; though you’ve planted into the wood chips, the roots are going to go straight down into the soil as well.

    Randy Wells

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    I love my Ryobi electric riding mower. BTW, I planted some potatoes directly in my wood chips. They came up just fine and are nice and green and sturdy so far. Thanks for the tips!

    tsx3214

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Absolutely, a terrific experiment…I have same aged chips and was debating the exact same thing. Good Luck!

    TheBhannah

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    looks like you have nicely composted wood chips your plants will love it

    Dave's Journey

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    i had extra potatoes last season and tried it. They grew but very small. Can't wait to see how the peas come out.

    The Allotment Bubble

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Hi Mark. I think they'll do great. Once those woodchips have broken down it makes brilliant compost.

    Dado Dadic

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    it Starts (the Lion King)

    Pat Black

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Good experiment. Looking forward to seeing your results.

    Roger Hart

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Hey Mark, nice to see you have garden projects going again! Looking forward to seeing your future updates. Thanks again for posting and happy Easter and wish your son the very best in the US Marines! God Bless.

    codygillespie

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Interesting experiments, should work fine like you said because it is moist enough to not dry out. My pea experiments this year were that i put them in early, feb 28 zone 6a, and i had pre sprouted the seeds. They are just popping up now. Interesting low growing stratigy for mowing afterwards. Im doing trellis and then leaving the trellis up and growing cucumbers on it after the peas come out. Another thought on your nitrogen noduals, you might already have so much fertility in that ground that the plants dont need to make them anyways, not sure how they behave when there is already surplus nitrogen in the soil.

    marthale7

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Notice that weeds grow in the wood chips with no problem from direct sow 🙂

    marthale7

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    I have done this with kale with 2 inches of wood chips direct sow, they did awesome. SInce doing this I bought an Earthway planter and I am testing planting directly into the wood chips.

    Linda Hipple

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Peas love aged woodchips, and produce well! Enjoy!

    Shenandoah Trails

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Nice to see ya back, Mark. Looks like black gold under those chips! I think this will work well. The key is probably the length of time decomposing. Hope it woks well for ya 🙂

    Richard Sydenham

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    Your peas will develop N I have never used any inoculent and all legumes produse N and they schould do just fine in the wood chips they are brocken down enogh

    Nancy Fahey

    (June 24, 2018 - 11:19 pm)

    I think they will do great. There is some pretty yummy stuff in that trench. You don't even have to water them.

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