Freshly Chipped Pine-Compost?

Q: I have a large heap of freshly chipped pine limbs and needles. If I let the pile age a few months will the chips be suitable as compost for a vegetable garden or should I use for mulch?

A: If you leave the pile in place long enough the chips will decompose and could be used as a soil amendment. I have mixed feelings about using chips only a few months old as mulch in a garden. I think it would be better to use it as mulch in the landscape or to cover the space between your garden rows. They will decompose over the summer and can be tilled into the earth this fall. I have a way to accelerate composting a chip pile at