Permaculture, Regrarians, etc. 2017

baymule

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If you put wood chips directly on the garden, they will rob nitrogen as they break down. You can do it, but mix up some chicken poop tea. Use fresh chicken poop in a 5 gallon bucket, fill with water and let sit a couple of days. Scoop some "tea" up, dilute with water and spray on garden. This will put nitrogen on the garden without burning it with fresh chicken poop.

We have piles and piles of wood chips that are composting. Last year, in cold weather, steam rose from the piles. The chips have the fungal threads running through them. We will be putting them on the garden and on the bare dirt I call "pastures" LOL
 

Beekissed

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I'm thinking about getting a wood chipper. Does anyone know if chipped pecan wood and oak can go directly into a garden? Pecan trees love to drop branches. Right now I burn them (and put the ashes in by the chickens dust bath area) but if I could chop them and use them a different way, I'd be interested.
Put your load of rabbit poo in the garden in the fall, then a layer of your wood chips about 4-6 in. deep on top of it. The first year you'll need to add nitrogen, as Bay mentioned, side dressing the plants as needed. You can continue to do that lightly, with the rabbit poo from then on but those wood chips will really be kicking in about the third year and won't need much in the way of additives then except when you add more wood chips as those compost down.

Best to add your new chips each fall, which gives them all winter long to start the process of composting down.

You can also use those wood chips in the coop and run as good litter after you've aged them a bit in a pile. Letting them compost along with your chicken poop under the roosts is an ideal way to have a great coop environment while composting right in place, which can be added directly to the garden come spring.
 

sumi

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@Beekissed I saw big bags of BARK chips in the supermarkets here and was wondering if that would be any good? I may be able to find some wood chips somewhere, I have a friend here that works with wood, buying, selling, building etc, but the bark got me curious. I believe that is more for ground cover, decorating, etc though… Dunno? I wish I took a pic so I can give you a better idea of what it looks like and is…. Hang on, Google is your friend they say, here you go. It's something like this:

75dade200460d0132762a987dc9cc19f1abcb73a.jpg
 

baymule

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Often those bark chips are treated. Look closely on the package.
 

baymule

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Often those bark chips are treated. Look closely on the package.
 

baymule

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Often those bark chips are treated. Look closely on the package.
 

Amiga

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My experience with wood chips is that if they are not worked into the root zone, they are not a problem. The microbes that break them down will soak up nitrogen, taking it away from plant roots, if the chips (or any high-carbon material) is in the root zone.

I agree with baymule, providing extra nitrogen helps speed up the composting of wood chips. And I hesitate to use bagged bark mulch.

beekissed has the Permaculture principles going in the suggestion to let the chickens enrich the wood chips, so the chips do more than one thing ...I think the coarseness of the chips needs to be considered If the chickens walk on it, yes? Or are chickens' feet less prone to pick up splinters than ducks' feet?
 
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milkmansdaughter

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We have the wood chips (more like wood shavings than chips) in their coop where they sleep, and straw in the laying boxes). When either get dirty, I add it all to the compost pile at the end of the chicken run, and I let the chickens continue to compost it. The end of the run is 35feet wide and the "compost pile" is 35' long and about 8 - 10 feet wide and several inches deep. . It's my compost, garden waste, household waste, wood shavings, rotten pears, grass clippings... pile. The chickens are doing a great job of keeping it stirred up. Every week or so, I rake most of the pen, clean old wood shavings, and all gets added to the pile (mostly so I'm not walking in it all the time.) I rake it back onto a long thin pile, and let them spread it all back out. When I mentioned putting it in the garden, it would have gone through this process first. Our run is big enough for me to work in it easily, and to go through with a wheel barrow so it's easy to add to the pile or to remove some. It should be great for the garden.
Our garden seems to have great soil. It was a garden for years, but had grown over (much of it was grass but also quite a bit of white clover). It hadn't been used as a garden for at least 2 years that I know of, possibly longer.
 

Beekissed

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beekissed has the Permaculture principles going in the suggestion to let the chickens enrich the wood chips, so the chips do more than one thing ...I think the coarseness of the chips needs to be considered If the chickens walk on it, yes? Or are chickens' feet less prone to pick up splinters than ducks' feet?
I've used them with ducks and chickens and no problems with splinters, though the wood chips were of varying coarseness. I have such a mix of materials in my coop that the wood chips are just a small percentage of it....I use mostly leaves with small amounts of wood chips, straw, hay, woody weeds, large quantities of garden vines and refuse, kitchen scraps, corn shucks, corn cobs, twigs, flower trimmings, hair, etc.

@Beekissed I saw big bags of BARK chips in the supermarkets here and was wondering if that would be any good?
@sumi , as Bay mentioned, I'd check if they are treated or of the kind of bark that doesn't mulch down for along while, such as cypress. I don't know if such a thing would grow the fungal variety you'd want in composting wood chips....they most likely sterilize those so they won't cause fungal infections in your flowers and such.

I know what you mean about not finding wood chips. If I had to do it all over again, it's likely I wouldn't have started the BTE, as the access to wood chips is minimal here....they have to be hauled far distances, they are hard to find, and it's a lot of work to apply them, so the whole "work free gardening" some call this wood chip gardening is a hoot! I've never worked so hard to garden in all my born days.
 
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