Five Tips to Help Prevent Your Wood Chips From Decomposing

15 June 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Wood chips add a pleasant touch to gardens, flowerbeds or landscaping borders around your home. However, because they are made of organic materials, they may slowly break down over time. Want to prevent your wood chips from decomposing before you are done with them? Then, check out these tips:

1. Invest in treated wood chips 

If you want wood chips, you can make your own using a chipper and some logs, or you can buy wood chips. To prevent decomposition buy your wood chips, and look for ones that have been treated. That helps them resist the elements and avoid breaking down.

2. Place a barrier between the wood chips and the soil

If you place wood chips directly on soil, the moisture from the soil can get into them and make them break down faster. To avoid this, do not place your wood chips directly on the soil. Instead, place a weed barrier or a piece of polyethylene on the ground and then put your wood chips on top of it.

3. Keep leaves off your wood chips

In addition to protecting the bottom of your wood chips, protect them from the top as well. In particular, if leaves fall on your wood chips, blow or rake them off whilst they are still dry. If you let the leaves get wet, they become hard to remove, and they can stick to the wood chips, ultimately causing the chips and the leaves to start to break down or compost together.

4. Focus on specific watering efforts

Wood chips are designed to be used outside, and as a result, it is safe to get them wet. However, if you want them to last as long as possible, you may want to minimise the water that hits them. In particular, if you are watering plants, train the hose or watering can directly on the plant you are watering.

Don't just water the whole area with a sprinkler. Similarly, if you have a downspout that releases rain water directly onto your wood chips, consider extending the spout so that the water falls onto your grass instead.

5. Use a deep layer of wood chips

Finally, to prevent decomposition, consider using a very deep layer of wood chips. A thick layer of treated wood chips will stand up to the moisture of the soil, falling leaves and other issues more effectively than a thin layer.