Messages posted to thread:

Linda26-Apr-02 10:54 PM EST 6   
DAVE27-Apr-02 08:23 PM EST   
Linda28-Apr-02 02:19 AM EST   
Dee28-Apr-02 09:14 PM EST 5a   

Subject: Wood Chips
From: Linda
Zone: 6
Date: 26-Apr-02 10:54 PM EST

I see lots of people using wood chips for mulch. Does anyone know if this attracts either termites or ants to the area. I'm trying to prevent future problems. I don't want to trade a too- dry area for one that is moist,but jam-packed with termites/ants.

Subject: RE: Wood Chips
From: DAVE
Date: 27-Apr-02 08:23 PM EST

There's a difference between mulch and ground cover. Wood chips are very poor mulch. They have little nutrient value and depending on the type of bark used, there is the possiblility of growth retardents within the bark, especially with cedar chips. Wood chips are best used as 'ground cover' for established shrubs/trees(keeps weeds down while being relatively attractive). Chips shouldn't attract termites or ants more than any other ground cover but wood chips are the worst mulch because as they break down they suck all the nitrogen out of the surrounding soil.

Subject: RE: Wood Chips
From: Linda
Date: 28-Apr-02 02:19 AM EST

I use wood chips as mulch/ground cover. It keeps the weeds down and moisure in. Unfortunately if the ground dries out underneath you have to soak the wood chips before the ground gets enough moisture. The speed inwhich they decompose depends on the size of chip. nitrogen will be in short supppy when the chips are breaking down.

If possible avoid using Pine as they will sterilize the soil - for a few years.

Subject: RE: Wood Chips
From: Dee ( )
Zone: 5a
Date: 28-Apr-02 09:14 PM EST

Avoid wood chips at all cost - especially the "Woodland" stuff. It works fine if used as a walkway or pathway cover, but not in your flower beds. I learned that mistake last year, and have had to scrape it all off, and try to amend the soil. My first hint was that after watering a flower bed for over an hour, the soil was still bone dry under the wood chips. It is not good for the plants either.

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