Woodchips 101: How to Lay Woodchips in Your Garden


There are plenty of fantastic reasons for wanting to lay woodchips in your garden, however, lots of people tend to first take action when it comes to ensuring that their soil is as fresh as it can be, or trying to prevent potential weed growth in their garden.

Of course, woodchips can also be used to improve the overall look and/ or aesthetics of your garden. The addition of a lovely wood chip path or a brand new play area is a sure-fire way to add some life back into the landscape fabric of your garden. However, if you’re using woodchips purely to keep your garden looking and feeling as healthy as it can, as long as the woodchips you decide to use are buried deep enough, the desired effect is bound to be achieved. 

Whether your garden is home to a variety of trees, wildflowers or tasty treats, most forms of plant life and vegetation can benefit from a woodchip-based mulch. Although it’s possible to collect free woodchips from many different areas of the UK, for guaranteed success we always recommend using a retailer who you know you can trust to deliver

If you live in the UK and would like to purchase bulk bags of woodchips, then we here at Earth Cycle might just be those retailers, and we’d be more than happy to help you on your garden-renovation journey. 

Before you begin haphazardly laying down your woodchips, we suggest having a plan in place so you don’t end up wasting a lot of your product by accidentally putting it in the wrong spot in your garden! Preparing your ground for woodchips is a fantastic place to start, but you might be wondering what the best way to go about that really is. Well, we’re here to help. Read on the find out just how to prepare your garden for woodchips. 

How to Get Your Garden Ready for Woodchips

Before laying wood chips, we recommend that you rake the soil in your garden until it’s completely flat. Then, after the bark chips have been spread in their entirety, remove any large weeds to prevent them from growing through, and give you hassle later on down the line. Removing any weeds that have roots will definitely make your life that little bit easier, as they will spread and grow under the mulch/woodchips if you simply leave them to do their own thing. 

Small weeds can sometimes be left (we recommend using your own judgement when it comes to these!). The wood chips will ultimately suffocate and destroy them, so removing them yourself is really entirely up to you. 

Clear the patches of weeds with a hoe or gloved hands before laying wood chips on a garden bed, growing area, or even on a path. Flatten the dirt with a rake and remove any large rocks that you come into contact with. To avoid weeds, use a wheelbarrow to spread the bark chips over the earth and make sure to rake them about 2-3 inches thick. 

How to Lay Your Woodchips | A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Buy Your Woodchips

Wood chips are a result of tree removal and landscaping operations and projects, and many people prefer to get rid of them as soon as possible. So, with that in mind, you might be able to receive free wood chips if you manage to look in the right places. Woodchips, or even ornamental bark, are commonly found in garden centres and are relatively inexpensive. Here at Earth Cycle, we will always be able to deliver them to your home, wherever in the UK your home might be. 

Step 2: Get Your Woodchips in Your Garden

To transport the woodchips, you’ll need a big, sturdy wheelbarrow or a garden waggon to ensure you get from A to B with the minimal extra hassle. If you have a huge bag of woodchips, we find it easier to simply throw its contents out and pile it up. Doing this is the easiest way of distributing the chips quickly and evenly. Place the chips in the wheelbarrow straight from the delivery truck’s bed or from the mound you previously made.

Step 3: Spread Your Woodchips

The wood chips should really be scattered to a depth of 3 or 4 inches for the best effect. You should always leave a few inches between each plant and the wood chips you’re distributing to ensure that the plants you want to keep are not harmed in the process of getting the effect you want. Most weeds will be prevented from developing or sprouting any further than they already have, and the soil underneath will be kept nice and damp. If you’re looking to suppress weeds, this is a very important step. 

Step 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Stuck In

Rather than using a shovel, take two handfuls of your woodchips and carefully place them around the plants you want to protect. Move them around gently and carefully to make sure they’re level and don’t injure your plants. You’ve got to fill the gaps between the plants in with your woodchips. When doing so, exercise extreme caution, as this could be where all of your hard work goes to waste.

Step 5: Continue To Care for Your Woodchips

You’ve got to continue with the upkeep when it comes to woodchips; you can’t just unload them and leave them to fend for themselves. By regularly fertilising your plant, you guarantee that they don’t go without these essential nutrients and continue to thrive. Wood chips are a natural product that will naturally decompose in the garden soil, but when they do, they will also deplete nitrogen in the soil, so it’s best to carry on keeping a watchful eye over your woodchips.

How to Lay Woodchips in Your Garden Conclusion

This is how to best go about laying bark chips in your garden, and in five incredibly easy steps. This is one of our favourite way of incorporating woodchips into your garden, and that’s because it’s good for adding a little something extra and new to your lawn, as well as actually being helpful towards its surroundings and improving them as it goes.  

If you have any questions about our large selection of woodchips or how to get your garden set up exactly how you want it, we’d be pleased to assist you in any way we can. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

About the Author

Earth Cycle

Over the past 20 years, Earth Cycle has been supplying high-quality topsoil, composts, soil conditioners, and mulches across the United Kingdom. With our roots in Hampshire and West Sussex, we are a team of gardening and allotment experts who love sharing their knowledge with others to help them create the perfect outdoor space.

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