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Mulch and soil amendments

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Joined: 08 Jul 2015
Posts: 474
Location: Delaware

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Mulch and soil amendments Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have 2 garden plots at the State Park near me. 40x40 total. They have fresh wood chips and spent mushroom soil delivered for gardeners to use. What's everyone's thought on using the wood chips to control weeds or the mushroom soil to till into the soil. The soil is rather good but amendments are not a bad thing. My coworker uses new wood chips exclusively in his garden and swears by them. The mushroom soil I used 2 years ago and it seemed to get a bit of a crust on the soil. Wasn't happy with that. I also noticed that were the piles of mushroom soil used to be nothing is growing now. So your thoughts please,
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Joined: 25 Dec 1997
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Mulch and soil amendments Reply to specific post Reply with quote

In a farming situation with corn and soybeans, I'd be interested in the mushroom multch, but I would want to know what it tests out at, does it hav any nutrients in it? It should be well composted stuff that might help soil, I would think.

I would run fast and far away from fresh wood chips. They are increadably 'hungry' for nitrogen to decompose themselves, and will mess up the ground for growing anything until they get their carbon/nitrogen balanced. Would be great several years later as it adds organic material to the soil; but those several years are heck to get through as the N is depleted from your soil and everything is out of balance for a while. Also some tree species more than others can mess with other balances in the soil...... If the wood chips were used as bedding and then stacked for a year, I'd be much more interested in the stuff - it would be more balanced.

Again, this is a farmer view.

Totally different issues and goals in a garden situation......

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Joined: 11 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Mulch and soil amendments Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Wood chips could have a carbon to nitrogen ratio as high as 400 to 1. Most plants can uptake soil nutrients better and like a C : N ratio of 30 : 1 or even lower. Agree with Paul about wood chips hogging all the soil nitrogen in the garden.
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