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wood chips as mulch

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  • michael hollihn
    wood chips will decrease soil fertility by acting as a nitrogen sink ...to decompose the wood chips draw nitrogen from the soil to begin the process...i think
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 2, 2009
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      wood chips will decrease soil fertility by acting as a nitrogen
      "sink"...to decompose the wood chips draw nitrogen from the soil to
      begin the process...i think this is only a problem if one digs in the
      wood chips...if one is only using the wood chips as mulch i don't
      think this poses much of a problem....some woods do have chemicals
      that leach and inhibit plant growth...here in southern british
      columbia canada the cedar tree is known to do this so i don't use
      cedar in the garden, but have used every other wood successfully as
      mulch...the key is mulch (carbon) and nitrogen (urine, manure, green
      manure crops, compost, worm castings (manure)) in a balanced symbiotic
      mix to get the bacteria and fungi decomposing and feeding the roots of
      plants

      --
      Michael Hollihn,
      www.michaelhollihn.wordpress.com (bioregional timber frames)
      www.kettleriverfood.ning.com (building food security in the Kettle
      river watershed)
      'Be the change that you want to see' Ghandi
    • yashanich
      hello all, I ve been following the Ramial Chipped Wood discussion for the last little while, and upon further reading on the internet I ve convinced myself
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2009
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        hello all,

        I've been following the Ramial Chipped Wood discussion for the last little while, and upon further reading on the internet I've convinced myself that I really must try this. There is a paper written by a professor from Quebec which outlines the reasoning behind the great growth promoting aspects of Ramial Chipped Wood. Now, he argues that it is the high lignin content of young trees (and brush I am presuming) that forms long lasting humus, as opposed to prairie soils, which are not as long lasting. The document "The Hidden world that feeds us: the living soil" provides sufficient argument for anyone with an hour to burn :

        http://www.crdi.ca/uploads/user-S/10753309691The_hidden.doc :

        The results echo what Jean Pain found he could do by chipping young underbrush and composting it for 18 months. Applying this compost thickly allowed him to grow vegetables without watering once in the south of france. I have a pdf that I could mail to anybody interested in Jean Pain (just mail me at yashanich@...). The idea that wood chips are something that locks up nitrogen in the soil is probably more true if you till it under, and as well, if you use larger diameter wood.

        I must say, that I am really excited about trying this. Didn't Fukuoka bury logs to improve water retention?

        Also, a note to Micheal, where exactly in southern BC do you reside? I am going to be working in the Christian Valley this summer (Just outside of Rock Creek). I will be in Castlegar on the weekends. Do you have any Fukuokan Projects on the go? Also, your Ghandi quote is ringing in my ears. I have always respected it, and times uttered it as a mantra. Cheers for that.



        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, michael hollihn <michaelhollihn@...> wrote:
        >
        > wood chips will decrease soil fertility by acting as a nitrogen
        > "sink"...to decompose the wood chips draw nitrogen from the soil to
        > begin the process...i think this is only a problem if one digs in the
        > wood chips...if one is only using the wood chips as mulch i don't
        > think this poses much of a problem....some woods do have chemicals
        > that leach and inhibit plant growth...here in southern british
        > columbia canada the cedar tree is known to do this so i don't use
        > cedar in the garden, but have used every other wood successfully as
        > mulch...the key is mulch (carbon) and nitrogen (urine, manure, green
        > manure crops, compost, worm castings (manure)) in a balanced symbiotic
        > mix to get the bacteria and fungi decomposing and feeding the roots of
        > plants
        >
        > --
        > Michael Hollihn,
        > www.michaelhollihn.wordpress.com (bioregional timber frames)
        > www.kettleriverfood.ning.com (building food security in the Kettle
        > river watershed)
        > 'Be the change that you want to see' Ghandi
        >
      • Robert Monie
        Hi,   Most natural farms have substantial quantities of lignin in the soil whether they use ramial chopped wood or not. The lignin comes from the straw
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 4, 2009
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          Hi,
           
          Most natural farms have substantial quantities of lignin in the soil whether they use ramial chopped wood or not. The lignin comes from the straw litter that natural farmers return to the soil.  Such common crops as flax, rice, wheat, and corn produce high-lignin straw. So, for example, Kawaguchi's natural farm in Japan will have a high lignin content and a continuing base of fertility, whether he chops up wood twigs or not, from his practice of laying clumps of rice (or wheat) straw on the ground each season as loosely applied mulch. Rice hull is a particularly rich source of lignin, so that byproduct of rice production can also be returned to the soil. Anvar Baranov and G. Mazza discuss the lignin content of common plant straws in their study "Industrial Crops and Products: Lignin in Straw of Herbaceous Plants" (readable on google.com). Whether the lignin from tree branches is better than the lignin from herbaceous plant straw is still a question
          to be decided.
           
          Bob Monie
          New Orleans, LA

          --- On Tue, 3/3/09, yashanich <yashanich@...> wrote:

          From: yashanich <yashanich@...>
          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: wood chips as mulch
          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 10:24 PM






          hello all,

          I've been following the Ramial Chipped Wood discussion for the last little while, and upon further reading on the internet I've convinced myself that I really must try this. There is a paper written by a professor from Quebec which outlines the reasoning behind the great growth promoting aspects of Ramial Chipped Wood. Now, he argues that it is the high lignin content of young trees (and brush I am presuming) that forms long lasting humus, as opposed to prairie soils, which are not as long lasting. The document "The Hidden world that feeds us: the living soil" provides sufficient argument for anyone with an hour to burn :

          http://www.crdi ca/uploads/ user-S/107533096 91The_hidden. doc :

          The results echo what Jean Pain found he could do by chipping young underbrush and composting it for 18 months. Applying this compost thickly allowed him to grow vegetables without watering once in the south of france. I have a pdf that I could mail to anybody interested in Jean Pain (just mail me at yashanich@gmail. com). The idea that wood chips are something that locks up nitrogen in the soil is probably more true if you till it under, and as well, if you use larger diameter wood.

          I must say, that I am really excited about trying this. Didn't Fukuoka bury logs to improve water retention?

          Also, a note to Micheal, where exactly in southern BC do you reside? I am going to be working in the Christian Valley this summer (Just outside of Rock Creek). I will be in Castlegar on the weekends. Do you have any Fukuokan Projects on the go? Also, your Ghandi quote is ringing in my ears. I have always respected it, and times uttered it as a mantra. Cheers for that.

          --- In fukuoka_farming@ yahoogroups. com, michael hollihn <michaelhollihn@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > wood chips will decrease soil fertility by acting as a nitrogen
          > "sink"...to decompose the wood chips draw nitrogen from the soil to
          > begin the process...i think this is only a problem if one digs in the
          > wood chips...if one is only using the wood chips as mulch i don't
          > think this poses much of a problem....some woods do have chemicals
          > that leach and inhibit plant growth...here in southern british
          > columbia canada the cedar tree is known to do this so i don't use
          > cedar in the garden, but have used every other wood successfully as
          > mulch...the key is mulch (carbon) and nitrogen (urine, manure, green
          > manure crops, compost, worm castings (manure)) in a balanced symbiotic
          > mix to get the bacteria and fungi decomposing and feeding the roots of
          > plants
          >
          > --
          > Michael Hollihn,
          > www.michaelhollihn. wordpress. com (bioregional timber frames)
          > www.kettleriverfood .ning.com (building food security in the Kettle
          > river watershed)
          > 'Be the change that you want to see' Ghandi
          >
















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