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Soil Amendments

Q.Is It Ok To Use Wood Chips As A Soil Additive In Raised Beds

Zone 8b | Bellerose added on June 16, 2020 | Answered

We had several loads of wood chips dropped off from tree trimmers in our area. They have composted for 2 years. The pile is rotted pretty well and full of earthworms. We have already added it into the raised bed, mixing it half and half with the soil that wasn’t very good. Now I’m reading that the decomposition of the remaining wood pieces may tie up the nitrogen in our soil. Can you advise on how to correct this problem? Thanks so much Angela

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Answered on June 16, 2020

Unfinished compost added to soil does tie up a bit of nitrogen but the difference isn't huge. You can easily compensate by adding additional nitrogen fertilizer, either urea, composted manure, or fish emulsion. Be very careful to follow instructions except only use 1/4 the recommended amount if you have already fertilized. Urea is very potent and can burn roots of small plants. Use it cautiously.

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