8 Ideas for Landscaping with Wood Chips - Backyard Boss
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8 Ideas for Landscaping with Wood Chips

Wood chips may seem quite simple, but in reality, they are an extremely unique and versatile landscaping tool. We can use wood chips in quite a lot of ways – from keeping weeds away to creating pathways, wood chips are very affordable and easy to acquire.

They can be an invaluable asset, especially when you need to keep moisture in, and can also act as a fertilizer, enriching your soil on the go. You can use them when covering big areas underneath trees or when trying to make a path through your garden.

Down below, we have made a list of the best ideas for using wood chips in landscaping.

8 Ideas for Landscaping with Wood Chips

1. Creating Paths Through Your Garden

When in doubt about what to use for your path, go with wood chips all the way. There’s no need for any specific preparation. All you have to do is make sure they are about 2 inches deep. This way, they will provide an impenetrable defense against weeds and will, at the same time, let water drain through.

Unfortunately, a drawback of wood chips is how easily they can be blown away in an exposed location. Therefore, it’s best to limit that by inserting a border of stones or sawn-off logs. This way, you will keep the nature-centered aesthetic and prevent the wood chips from being blown around as much.

2. Creating a Peaceful Area for Relaxation and Meditation

In case you have a favorite place to sit in your garden, then this is the idea for you. Wood chips give out a vibe of tranquillity, which is perfect for days on which you just want to sit outside and soak yourself in the sun’s warmth. For such places, the less, the better is the way to go. 

Clear out a flat circle on the ground and cover it with wood chips. You can complement that look with benches made of sawn logs and a small wooden table to put your book on if you are the reading type.

3. The Luxury Look of Bark Chips

Deciding on using bark chips can be a bit of a risk since they have to be used in the correct garden setting. They give out a luxurious vibe with their glossy-looking surface. The best way to use them is to add contrast to very lush foliage. However, you shouldn’t use them with pavements that aren’t straight.

4. The Tropical Look

Wood chips are great to use in your tropical garden. Not only are they rich in nutrients, but they also are perfect for keeping moisture in, which will encourage the growth of the plants. It is important, though, to make sure that you use well-composted chips. Freshly cut ones could still have harmful contents, which can stop seedlings or destroy younger plants.

To accompany the wood chips, you should use some larger stones to put around your tropical backyard. Moreover, having some cacti in your garden will help enhance the feeling that you are in the jungle.

5. Stumpery

If there’s a shady spot in your garden that you are not entirely sure how to utilize, you should look no further than a stumpery. You don’t need a lot to make one – a few logs and stumps, some dense branches. The more decomposed they are, the better it is for the plants you will plant later on.

To make it you first need to pile everything up in a way that creates little planting pockets. Next, you should fill in the gaps with wooden chips. Afterward, add compost that contains no peat and plant greenery such as ferns and other plants that are typically fond of the woodlands.

6. Make Yourself a Mushroom Garden

Have you ever thought about having your mushroom garden? This is possible with wood chips since they give the best conditions for growing mushrooms. But how to do it? First, you will need to get yourself some mushroom spawn. Next, you will have to soak a bucket of wood chips in water. This process will take about a week, and then you will have to drain them. 

Afterward, dig a hole into the ground in a shady place. Line it with newspaper or cardboard. Fill with drained wood chips, and then add mushroom spawn. Finally, put one last layer of drained wood chips, and voila! It will only take a few weeks before mushrooms start to form.

7. Use Them for Your Container Gardening Ideas

Wood and bark chips are fantastic for potted plants. It is not only a very fancy touch to your pots. Chips are great for mulching plants because they won’t need to be watered or fertilized as often. Bark chipping is better for acid-loving plants but should be avoided around plants that love lime.

8. Create a Rustic Patio

Most people like this idea because it is very budget-friendly and very simple to accomplish. Wood chips are a very inexpensive patio material, compared to the rest. However, a drawback is that they will get trampled down over time. Nevertheless, there’s an easy fix for that – just top them up periodically.

Before you put them down, though, it is important to remove all weeds and level the surface. Then you should add some landscaping fabric before adding the wood chip finish. You should go for this idea if you are going for a very rustic vibe of the English cottage type.

In Summary

When it comes to landscaping, wood chips often get overlooked. However, both specialists and garden decor hobbyists agree that they are, in fact, one of the best options. The reasons are many, but the first and most often pointed out is that they are a fantastic source of nutrition. Moreover, they are great at keeping moisture in the ground, while providing good drainage. On top of all else, they provide a good layer of protection – they do not allow weeds to get the sunlight they need to flourish. This means that the weeds’ growth becomes suppressed.

However, when it sounds like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. This type of landscaping will require you to keep an eye out. Wood chips can be blown away when the weather is windy. They can also be kicked around when walking on them. This is why you will need to top up frequently. Hopefully, this list was helpful to you and has given you some insight into what wood chips can do for your garden.

Happy landscaping!

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