Wood chips provide attractive mulching material for the home garden. A thick layer of chips inhibits the germination and growth of weeds – and they also provide an insulating layer over the bed to protect plant roots from frost and retain moisture in the soil. Use wood chips in your garden, or take advantage of the weed-suppressing qualities to make natural-looking pathways.
Pull the chips back from the stems and trunks of each plant, creating a 2-inch space between the wood and the plant. Wood chips that sit against plant stems retain moisture that causes the stems to rot.
Replenish the wood chips each spring to maintain the 3-inch depth. The wood chips decompose slowly, requiring replacement. In addition, the decomposed wood chips add nutrients to the garden soil.
Dig a 3-inch-deep trench along either side of the path. Place the soil removed from the trench outside of the path area.