Mulch
Q.

Does mulching with wood chips deplete soil of nitrogen?

Zone 93021 | kath55344 added on August 21, 2019 | Answered

I have heard that while the wood chips decompose, they use nitrogen. So, does mulching with wood chips deplete the soil of nitrogen? Should I be adding nitrogen fertilizer to my roses and other plants. Our soil is extremely sandy and I need mulch to hold moisture. Thanks for your answer/advice. Kathlean

A.
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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 21, 2019

You will want to mulch with composted, or aged wood chips. Mulching with fresh wood chips will leach nitrogen to do carbon content. This includes added nitrogen.

This link will offer more information: https://macon.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/02/fresh-wood-chips-as-mulch/

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MichiganDot
Answered on August 22, 2019

This is a somewhat controversial issue with other soil researchers conducting studies that show only the top inch of soil nitrogen may be affected by fresh wood chips. In the long run, the chips nourish the soil. More information here: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS160E/FS160E.pdf

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