Wood Chips – Fast Decomposition

Q: Recently I saw you on “Gardening In Georgia” on GPB. You showed a lady how to turn wood chips into compost in six months vs. two years. What was the recipe that you used?

A: We scattered 10-10-10 on top of the wood chip pile after leveling the top and making it slightly concave.

As I explained on the show, fertilizer provides nitrogen to the fungi and bacteria which break down the chips. The indented crown channels rain water to the center of the pile.

I used a seat-of-the-pants calculation to determine how much fertilizer to use: add the height and longest width of the pile together to denote how many cups of fertilizer to scatter. Our pile was 5 feet high by 12 feet long so we used 17 cups of 10-10-10.

I suggested that the homeowner wet the pile thoroughly afterwards to start the decomposition process.

Don’t be surprised if you see steam coming from the pile. Rapid decomposition creates lots of heat.

wood chip mulch Linda Chalker-Scott

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