Pine Tree Chips

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Dirt Queen, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Dirt Queen

    Dirt Queen Member

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    Can one grow a garden next spring/summer in the aftermath left after the removal of two spruce trees? The stumbs were ground and raked level. I would like to plant a combination garden of flowers and vegetables next year but friends say nothing will grow due to the high level of acidity created by the pine tree stump chips. What will neutralize the soil for planting?
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I don't think that pine chips are very acid; but if they are, you can easily neutralize the soil with ground limestone or dolomite.
     
  3. Tom Deming

    Tom Deming Member

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    It is best to use well decomposed or rotted wood chips for amending soils, particularly light sandy soils. If you have the time, it would be best to wait one year before planting this area thus avoiding nitrogen deficiency. If you can't wait one year then apply extra nitrogen to the wood chips and surrounding soil. Evenly work the wood chips into the surrounding soil. The wood chips will not have an appreciably effect on the soil acidity but will temporarily deplete the soil of nitrogen.
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i agree with the suggestion to wait a year to plant anything - which means spring of 2011.

    i'd work the chips into the soil for now and then, next spring i'd add in some manure - either bagged stuff from the store or fresh stuff (from horse, cow, sheep, goat) and turn it over into the area. then, mid summer i'd really turn the area over - pull up at least a foot to foot & half (2 feet would be better) of the soil and mix it up well. could even add in some more manure at that point as well as grass clippings. then one last turning during late fall.

    if you're concerned about acidity levels, you can test the soil for it and, if it's too high, add in the ground limestone mid summer and test again in fall and add more then (during that final turning over). if you do find the soil is still very acidic in the fall, i'd definitely test it again before planting anything in the spring. you can buy test kits in most garden stores or garden section of the big box places and the local extension office should be able to test, as well.

    if the soil is very acidic after an extended period of time, plants that do really well in those conditions are rhododendron, azalea, holly and hydrangea (hydrangea also do well in other ph situations and the others will do okay in less acidic soils, too - they just really like it and will do especially well).
     

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