Mulch - Knowledgebase Question

Antelope, Ca
Question by patriotic_do
March 5, 2011
Can I use chips from one of my trees as mulch in my veggie garden?


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Answer from NGA
March 5, 2011

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The soil microorganisms that decompose organic matter need both carbon and nitrogen to do their work. Wood chips are high in carbon, so to decompose them, the organisms "steal" nitrogen temporarily to continue their process. Eventually it is returned to the soil in the form of more decomposed nutrients but during the process they may steal nitrogen from the top of the soil. You can counteract this by sprinkling nitrogen fertilizer over the wood chips after you spread them on top of the soil. Aside from this caution, wood chips make an excellent mulch when spread over the top of the soil.

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