wood chip compost


Old 05-11-08, 04:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
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wood chip compost

Hi, New here, so please bear with me. I'm having trouble figuring out what is right and wrong for making compost.

I have a ranch with not the best soil. It was an old cotton farm and that may have depleated the soil. In reclaiming the pasture I cut out tens of thousands of mesquite and cedar trees. After burning most of them, I finally bought a 6" chipper for my tractor. It makes fabulous mounds of fairly small chips which I hope will make some good compost someday to apply to my soil.

The question is, when I chip lots of freshly cut down cedar, youpon, mesquite, elm, oak, etc., can a portion of that be considered "greens"? I'm having trouble getting enough cow manure to add to the piles and other greens are in short supply in the winter. When the summer comes, manure is in short supply because the dung beetles cart it off so fast. I added 2 yards of cow manure to 5 yards of green wood chips. Is that enough to make good compost? For a month, the chips by themselves didn't heat up much, so they aren't really greens, I'm guessing. They did start to turn a nice brown color.

Does anyone have experience mulching fresh wood?
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Old 05-11-08, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Welcome to the forums!

Am I to understand you don't have enough need, to use the mulch as mulch? If feasdable I'd use the mulch as mulch, lay it thick and no weeds to pull I like to use mulch in my garden and then plow it under in the fall.
Old 05-11-08, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Carolina
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wood chips will over time compost but consume alot of nitrogen in the process. adding them to your composter will likely slow down or stop the composting process.
Old 05-12-08, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Wood chips can be composted with equal amount of high-nitrogen material like grass clippings and green leaves of branches that have been through the chipper.


For another recent discussion re: composting: http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...hlight=compost

Fresh wood chips should not be used as mulch. They rob the soil of nitrogen as they decompose.

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