Sponsored Links

Back to Eden Organic Gardening 101 Method with Wood Chips VS F.L. Deep Mulch Gardening Series # 9

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


FIXING 1st Year Problems. This is Part 9 of 12 Part Series that will help you understand the PRO’S & CON’S of Back to Eden organic deep mulch gardening method with wood chips to composting just Fall leaves. Great start for beginners Tour our secrets for organic soil & growing gardening vegetables 101 documentary with pest control. Looking into soil food web & soil health in a no till organic garden. diy garden. Organic gardening and farming.


lane laney says:

Excellent. I can't tell you how many times I've watched other gardening videos which make the claim that good mulch eventually turns to "soil". Arghhh…. Good description of this distinction between soil and compost. I'm also using more and more wood chips and leaves to conserve moisture in out large gardens. Even here in the Pacific Northwest, the summers are getting hotter and dryer. I haven't had to water several blueberry fields that have had several layers of wood chips. Thanks for your accurate videos.

Big Al says:

So my understanding before was woodchip/leaf mulch: 1) keeps soil moist at all times (good for soil life) 2) keeps temps moderate most of the time of the year – prevents summer sun scorching and reduces winter freeze period (good for soil life) 3) earthworms would feed on the bottom decomposing layer of the mulch, bringing the organic materials deeper into the soil – improving soil structure, reducing compaction, building soil, etc.

However, you are saying without living roots the hardpan below mulch will remain the hardpan. And with the lack of sufficiently decomposed mulch material you have to resort to raised bed and imported soil because no roots want to live in the soil under the woodchips as it is now?

Gary Parrish says:

Appreciate and enjoy your videos. Disagree with your statement about the 16 minute mark though. I believe I have seen great improvements in soil underneath mulch? I started mulching fruit trees 15 year ago with grass clipping and since I stack hay during the summer months, I started asking customers for any hay/ straw they wished to get rid of. It prevented them the liability of disposal, and gave me a great benefit of mulch as well as compost. Have tree services bring me wood chips as well. Been ran over with more than I can consume! So I tried to use a lot around my trees. Guess they call this area the great American desert? SE Colorado.

Like I said I started simply, and increased fast. Huge amounts of bad hay and woodchips were given to me. Now I have hundreds of tons/cubic yards of composting organic waste. Four years ago we had a very mild fall, with an arctic blast when leaves were yet green. Killed many trees that I replaced the following fall. This area is called a sandy loam by the NRCS, It is far from it! I'm far enough away from any flood plain or glacial activity, it is mostly a hard tight compacted clay. Shovels of soil had to beat down into smaller pieces for the original plantings.

When I replaced the trees, it was a completely different soil type! And all from heavy mulches. Aggregational, is that a word? Much easier to dig into, much easier to break and replant, and darker. Probably twelve years plus after adding the first mulch. I tended to believe it was due to the increase of soil activity under the mulch? We were in a severe drought at that time, but noticed all kinds of surface activity when I watered which I equated to a good environment.

Am I wrong?

dan devos says:

one thing i see everybody over looking is that paul has a wood oven and heats with wood and when he cleans out his fireplace he put the ash and charcoal in the chicken pin and it become active biochar which holds water and nutrients and micr  biochar can last for up to 600 years before it brakes down so the wood chips covers the earth and creates a moist area for bugs, worms,  fungus, and mycro life and his biochar catches the nutrients and water and stop the nutrients from running off just my thoughts     Paul is such a good man God bless

Michael Todd says:

Your wood chips look to large. Are they from a trunk? Paul says to use branches with their leaves shredded well. It breaks down faster and when it rains it produces compost tea to feed the soil below.

Robert Sterling says:

+I AM ORGANIC GARDENING, you have inspired me to go to my nearest park to observe nature! I couldn't believe the amount of tree branches and leaves there are on the ground- I thought this would only be possible if done manually but no, nature has heavy mulch too! I think I've made an observation and I could be wrong on this. If a forest is young, very little wood material will fall- thus a new, young soil probably has mostly leaf mold as its fertilizer. Could this be true? Have a good day sir.

andrew ysk says:

Hii Sir

i am so move that you would really spend time to share and experiment all these to us.. you are doing wonderful work.. thank you. we appreciate it.

i saw the leave mold doing wonderful work.. and wood chip get too moist that causing plant to stunt.

the world never work in one thing alone. what happened if you put the thick layer of leaves (leaf mold) on the soil and put a thick layer of wood chip on top of the leaf mold … ? will that solve the problem (instead of doing raise bed). since leaf mold doesn't cause drowning of root… and chips reserve all the moisture better than leaves..

you guys are really blessed to live in a country with big land and good sun. i am no in Germany… expensive land, terrible language that i can't extract info or understand their law about farming and land (so much crazy laws).. and no where to get wood chip… not that i know of..

i know you get wood chip from tree removing company, where did you get the leaves from then ?

Gene Auger says:

Hi, Mark. you are talking about the winter rye growing through the winter and building soil, how will that work at -20 degrees? Love what I am learning, thank you.

Larry022 says:

I am going to tell all of my friends about your channel.

☼ Heirloom reviews ☼ says:

i having problems with this method of gardening! im finding the woodchips need to compost for about 3 years before it really can be used in the garden thanks for sharing !!! : )

lastniceguy1 says:

Yes it is a fish. That is an Osprey. Love birds of prey.

Patty Price says:

Great video's
I am a bit confused…
I have a brand new BTE garden built on very rocky soil. I started it in Mar. of this year and laid cardboard, mushroom compost, then very thick layer of pine tree woodchips. I will be letting it sit until next spring. what I am confused about is when do I plant cover crop and do I just plant into these crops next spring? Do I let them stay or do I cut down at anytime? I will be needing to build soil as the soil out here in Washington, close to mt. Rainier is to rocky to plant in. Thank you for any help

kahvac says:

Thank you for giving it some thought. My thinking is $$ it would be too expensive to introduce wood chips and other organic matter directly into the soil and plow that in.
I have done this on a small scale when I plant fruit trees which I did yesterday.
For small 5' tall Apple & Plum trees I dig a 4' diameter hole about 2' deep mix in about 1/3 full of wood chips with the soil that was there which is mainly clay and water well this is my 3rd leaf or year in the ground on some and the trees so far have grown extremely well and are pest free. It's all organic but it is time consuming and then the cost for chips.
On the flip side it is a lifelong investment in the trees…I forgot to mention the soil is now loaded with huge earthworms that my soil never had. I did add about a 5 gallon pail of compost that also had wood chips in it and leaves but was not fully broken down. Some will say the chips tie up available nitrogen… to that I say its a small price to pay and I will always get the nitrogen back in time as it breaks down. Hope this helps someone.

kahvac says:

Excellent video ! Thank you for taking the time to make it. I understand the basic philosophy of cover crops which over time will add organic matter and carbon into the soil by way of their roots, but after seeing your hard pan it's so bad and gray.. that one has to ask would it not be better and take the hit to add wood chips and whatever else you have and plow/rototill it into the soil and be done with it once and for all ? I don't want to disturb the soil either but by breaking up the hard pan and adding organic matter now would this be of greater overall benefit ? Is it a case of economics ? Or am i missing something ? Thanks again for your great videos !

Cherry Downs says:

Beautiful Osprey! Probably feeding her babies!

Katie McD says:

Thanks! I need your help!! This past October we laid down a thick layer of wood chips 9-12 inches deep from a local tree service! I can tell they haven't decomposed much (we didn't add manure because we have such a large section of our yard dedicated to gardening)… My main question is: HOW SHOULD I PLANT THIS SPRING 2017 (if at all)? I want to build the soil, not JUST plant in the chips, but the chips are deep! So should I Dig a hole down to where the soil is, plant the seeds, and then cover with wood chips when they grow big enough? OR should I plant some winter rye THIS SPRING and THEN plant my garden seeds next year? I'm really eager to start planting though…THANKS so much for responding 🙂

Veritas Rex says:

Basically the back to eden method is a bust if you are using it the first year. If you are putting in a cover crop then the BTE method is really not being used. Covering the soil with wood chips doesn't seem to be giving the soil a boost. So I believe using the method in part for weed prevention but opening up the planting area to sun and rain and "weeds" free of the chips like one would normally do and using the chips more for the areas next to the farrows. It really isn't like Adam and Eve lounging in the garden waiting for a apple to fall from a tree, we are still growing and tilling by the "sweat of our collective brows".

Diversified Acres Homestead says:

Love your videos, /thanks for sharing. I live in Central Kentucky I have a large single family garden. Its 100' x 100'. We grow our typical items in rows such as corn,beans,tomatoes,peppers,squash,potatoes,and so on. We do till once a year during the planting time and have a great harvest yearly. But i want to get away from tilling and I want to put leaves on my garden to assist with weeds. We are not certified organic but we dont use weed killer or pesticides. Its now January and because of health reasons I did not get my cover crop on and I have an abundance of leaves still on the ground in my woods. Can I still put leaves down now and be ready for spring,

Dallas K says:

what about a wood chip/leaf/compost mulch that is tilled 2-3 inches into the soil and piled a max 8 inches high.

wouldn't that increase worm activity to break the soil up faster…for the compost will add organic matter quickly drawing worms, and the leaf will add a long term source of food and the wood chips an even longer source of food all supporting the food web and immediate growth because you can plant right into the compost you just laid, gain the plant building and the worm tilling benefits?


mobyhunr says:

How is then that Paul has transformed his clay into over 24 inches of soil

mpetrus100 says:

I will add to my comments about my clayzone changing.  I live in Texas and during the summer the soil in my raised beds crack with very deep cracks.  No amount of watering will get rid or the cracks completely.  When this does happen, my compost falls into the deep cracks.  Maybe this is what has conditioned the clayzone.

Comments are disabled for this post.