With wood chips I may get more fungus than normal but as the wood chips break down I also get a garden full of worms that are adding the beneficial bacteria that plants love. Fungus plus bacteria is a win win! I also like to grow beautiful and productive plants which is what I get when I use wood chips.
|After adding compost but before adding wood chips|
|Only half mulched at this point. I've added edibles to the space, Zucchini, lima beans and tomatoes.|
2 years ago I planted a butterfly garden by our pool and filled it with beautiful plants that I knew would thrive since it was such a sunny spot. Now, 2 years later, I have a sad butterfly garden where only the hardiest of plants remain and the rest go to die. You can see the original post here. I know longer use weed liner, unless it's a short term problem solver, and all of it has been removed at this point.
To bring it back to life I added rich compost full of worms from the compost pile. My pile is mostly chicken manure, food waste, and a small amount of yard waste and is not completely broken down so it's full of worms with every scoop but it can be a little potent to use as soil. If you are wanting to just use the soil it's best to wait until the worms have finished their job and have moved on. In this case however my goal was to give the soil a little jump start so I needed those precious worms. I made sure to only add a thin layer across all exposed top soil, harvested some Yarrow from the garden and spread that throughout the bed to hopefully aid in the breakdown process of the wood chips Yarrow Info, and topped it with approximately 6" of wood chips in open spots and 3" around the base of existing plants. This should solve the problem and hopefully this bed will be in full bloom soon!
I'll keep you posted on the progress.....