Making wood chips for mulch

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by TnAndy, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Been studying on how to turn clay to good garden soil, and one way seems to be using wood chips for mulch....just keep adding them year after year. Went to a presentation at the MEN fair couple months ago. Guy passed around a jar of his original dirt, then another after a year of wood chips, then another after 2nd year and so on. By the 3rd year, it was some darn good looking soil !

    I just happen to have a good source of wood to make chips...slabs off my sawmill that here to fore had been going in a pile and burned when the pile got big enough and weather conditions permitted. I bought a WoodMaxx 8M tractor PTO driven chipper and plan to chip all my slabs from now on, as well as the normal accumulation of brush/tree tops around here. Cut about 1500 bdft of lumber last week, and saved all the slabs, plus I had some old poplar logs that were half rotted....cut them into stuff that will go in the chipper. It will handle up to 8" wide, and according to them, 6" thick....but I've found 3x6" is about the max slab it will handle without popping the shear bolt in the PTO.

    Put a couple hours in this morning chipping what I'd set aside, probably ended up with a single axle dump truck load of chips. Pretty much filled one of my compost bunks, which are 8x10 x 3-4' deep.



  2. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I would also add 20% sand and manure. Also see if you can get Peet moss, and add it every third year. I would alternate manure between Chicken and Cattle every year. Once every three years, I would ether burn off the crop after harvesting, or compost in and till wood ash from your burn pile!
    Motomom34, BenP, Seepalaces and 2 others like this.
  3. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Man-oh-man! Could I use a chipper! And, a tractor!...…sigh... I have got to get a tractor or skid steer or something this year, somehow, someway... Can't seem to find anything worth buying as they are gobbled up quick around here.
    ochit, Seepalaces and Ura-Ki like this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Go to a tractor auction.

    I would probably save those slabs for fire wood. But I don't have Appalachian or smoky mountain levels of timber around here.
    I save everything down to about 1 inch rounds for fire wood, plus all lumber scraps and put the rest in my stupid little electric chipper from harbor freight. It was on sale for $50, figured I would try it before buying a $700+ gasoline powered one. Since I just wanted wood chips to go around the base of my apple trees.
    I think the PTO drive ones I briefly looked at started around $1,800.

    Some of those electric coop jerks cut down several of my trees growing around the power lines and put them in the wood chipper earlier this year and left several trees worth of wood chip piles. Those chip piles are still there I think I will go rake them up and see if I can do something more constructive with them.
    chelloveck, Seepalaces and Ura-Ki like this.
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Motomom34 and Zimmy like this.
  6. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    We have a Vermear 625 chipper , make chip/dirt in 3 different ways !! VERY IMPORTANT

    Alder ,willow,apple , maple and the such are level /neutral PH / Ez on the other plants , Cedar is the WORST , Cheastnut ,next .Antthing that has a talon chem ,is a killer for uo to a year on the blead out, after that it's the same shit pile.

    Puter bailed after 5 mins typing , Im NOT retyping it. Dream !

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2018
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have a small chipper / shredder that I use for getting rid of brush piles at the BOL, helps to reduce fire danger. Since trees are not that common in AZ, I've been raking the chips up around the bases of pinion pine and Juniper saplings. It helps to hold moisture and as Ganado says, as they degrade, they release nutrients into the soil. Hopefully in a few years there'll be more welcome shade.

    That PTO driven shredder is tops. A tractor is in the future plans and a shredder such as that one would be a welcome addition since I seem to have an endless supply of brush that needs thinning.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  8. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    Bandit99 build a go fund me page and I'll donate a few for a tractor, I figure it's a better investment than checking the box on my tax return to give a dollar for presidential elections :D
    Bandit99 and Alf60 like this.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Worst mistake I ever made was putting manure down in my garden. Apparently cows and horses eat a lot of grass and seeds don't digest. I finally gave up on my garden after three years of fighting post cow-shit weeds.
    Motomom34 and Bandit99 like this.
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    That's why the fresh manure is in compost pile....supposed to heat up and kill off a lot of the weed theory.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, and it will. We got some "sterile" bull manure when trying to get something to grow in the back yard out in Richland. Worked well, no weeds. Farmers in the area spread it in the orchards.
  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Finished pile:

  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Yes. Many use bird manure just for that reason but my wife prefers horse manure she gets from neighbors here and lets it sit for a year or so...
  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, did the same thing with some horse manure. Supposedly it was all composted and ready to go, looked good, nice and black.

    Unfortunately the weed seeds that survived were some thorny bastards that you needed steel gloves to pull out. I am planning on getting some more horse manure this fall, but I'm going to let the chickens root around in it first! they'll find most of the seeds, then I'll compost it, then it goes in the garden, where my chickens will be just before I plant.

    I wish I had a chipper for my small tractor, for now I'll settle for my little chipper shredder that I have, it's a bit slower but gets the job done. I've got about 1/2 my garden covered with wood chips and I'm working on another burn pile to get some more chips. Not enough hours in the day it seems.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  15. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I'm hung up on selecting a chipper. My place is 3/4 woods. It makes sense.
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