How do you spread wood chips in the garden?

Using wood chips as a mulch in your garden or landscaped area can provide numerous benefits, including weed suppression, soil temperature and moisture regulation, and improved soil structure and fertility. If you’re planning on spreading wood chips in your garden, here are a few steps to follow to ensure that the process goes smoothly:

  1. Prepare the soil: Before spreading wood chips, it’s important to properly prepare the soil. This can involve removing any existing weeds, cultivating the soil, and adding compost or other organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility. By preparing the soil in this way, you can create a healthy and weed-free environment for your plants to thrive.
  2. Choose the right wood chips: Not all types of wood chips are suitable for use in the garden, and some may even be harmful to plants or the environment. When choosing wood chips, be sure to select a type that is safe and appropriate for your needs. In general, it’s best to avoid treated wood chips, black walnut wood chips, pine wood chips, and dyed wood chips.
  3. Determine the appropriate depth: Wood chips should be applied in a thick enough layer to effectively block light and regulate soil moisture and temperature, while also allowing for sufficient decomposition. A general rule of thumb is to apply wood chips in a layer that is at least 3 inches deep, although a deeper layer of 4 to 6 inches may be necessary for longer-lasting weed suppression and moisture regulation.
  4. Spread the wood chips evenly: Once you’ve determined the appropriate depth for the wood chips, it’s important to spread them evenly over the soil surface. This can help to ensure that the wood chips are effective at blocking light and regulating soil moisture and temperature, and can also help to create a more attractive and uniform appearance. To spread the wood chips evenly, you can use a rake, shovel, or other suitable tool.
  5. Water and mulch around plants: After spreading the wood chips, be sure to water the area thoroughly to help settle the chips and ensure that they are in contact with the soil. It’s also a good idea to mulch around the base of plants to help suppress weeds and regulate soil moisture and temperature.

By following these steps, you can effectively spread wood chips in your garden or landscaped area and enjoy the numerous benefits they provide. By preparing the soil, choosing the right wood chips, determining the appropriate depth, and spreading the chips evenly, you can create a healthy and weed-free environment for your plants to thrive.