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By Ayrhead

Ayrshire, United Kingdom Gb

Now that bonfires in urban areas are frowned upon (or illegal?) I shred the branches and twigs from my shrubs. If I spread them on my vegetable patch will the bacteria lock up soil nitrogen in order to break down the chips?



It very possibly will, Ayrhead. We use our shredded wood chips as pathing material, otherwise we take it to the recycling centre. Wood chips are much easier to bag up and put in the car than lengths of branches.

20 Jul, 2010


Thanks Bulbaholic.

20 Jul, 2010


Another simple solution is just to first thoroughly compost the woody material and then spread the result onto your veg patch where it will release, rather than absorb Nitrogen.

20 Jul, 2010


Thanks Ilex. I tend to pile it up in a corner, so somewhere at the bottom there may be compost!

20 Jul, 2010


It's a game for the patient Ayrhead!

20 Jul, 2010


If you could do with a bonfire, check with your local area council to see what the restrictions are in your neighbourhood. I was agreeably surprised to find that our area is completely unrestricted. Mind you, I make sure not to bon a fire too often so no-one is inconvenienced, and I would always check no-one near me has washing out...
I would definitely smile upon bonfires : o )) !!

One of these days we'll invest in a shredder because I would feel too ungreen taxi-ing all hedge trimmings to the tip.

20 Jul, 2010


Thanks Weeding, I'll see what they say, I used to wait till neighbours had taken washing in, and phone anyone with windows open!

20 Jul, 2010


Ilex is right and nitrogen robbery only occurs if you dig in unrotted garden waste rather than spread it on the surface. Shreddings make an excellent mulch.
Our neighbours used to complain whenever we had a bonfire (and I think they were right!) so I started shredding all the hedge clippings and cut up small branches with secateurs and loppers. A mound of even the larger stuff rots down in a year or two and makes a fabulous wild life habitat.
You can also use the larger stuff in a pit covered with soil, called a Dutch mound, where it will break down slowly and enrich the soil, with vegetables grown on top.

20 Jul, 2010


My mum used to have 3 quite deep pits behind the garage. One for peelings and household waste. Not much waste then (don't remember any rats) or mum would have freaked out, and one for clippings and prunings. The third one was the maturing heap of prunings and chunkier garden waste. Just some patience needed for it to be dug out and used as a mulch for the rose bed. The vegetable patch was just behind the garage too. so all very handy.

21 Jul, 2010

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