We love to use every possible part of every possible tree and we’re quite simply mad about bark and wood chippings – we think they’re the most flexible and versatile wood product in the world. In the first place, bark can be highly decorative, giving a wonderful texture against the more formal lines of hard landscaping such as fencing and the edging of paving or decking, Then again it’s useful, giving protection to the soil and helping reduce the backache of weeding. Both bark and chippings also have practical uses for poultry and children’s playgrounds. All things considered; we reckon you’d have to be barking mad not to use it!
Statistics show that 2022 was the fifth driest year since records began in 1836. Given the way the weather continues to bring us longer and hotter dry spells in summer, it is becoming ever more essential to protect your soil and plant roots from drying out. That means mulching, and nothing helps retain water better than a good mulch of bark chippings – and don’t just think about mulching the roses and perennials in your borders, your pots and containers (which always tend to dry out more quickly) will benefit too.
An additional important benefit of any sort of mulching is that it will keep weeds down by shutting out sunlight and stopping germination. A sensible multi-purpose bark mulch should be at least 5-7 cm thick. Our 60 litre bags of ornamental spruce bark will provide around 1 square metre of coverage to that depth, which makes the maths quite easy. At that size the bags are easy to move around the garden and not too heavy.
Woodchip and bark makes an ideal soft-play surface for young children. They are ideal for potential hard impact areas where kids may take a tumble, for example under swings or beneath trampolines. In this case it may be advisable to lay a slightly thicker layer of chippings underlying the path of a swing, or for a distance of 1.5m around the edges of a garden trampoline. In comparison with other soft-play options, at around £6 per square metre coverage, bark chippings are very economical as well as being a sustainable resource.
Lockdown saw a huge increase in the number of people keeping poultry in the garden and many chicken fanciers surfaced their chicken runs with hardwood bark chips. They have proved so popular that we now offer Chicken Chips from UK sourced virgin wood chips – they’re not recycled wood waste so much better – fully fire tested to British Standards, with minimal dust and fine content.
There is one other great thing about using bark and/or wood chips as a top-of-soil surface in the garden. It’s biodegradable. Wood naturally rots and as the chips decompose the fibre improves the soil structure, promoting permeability, bioactivity and the availability of nutrients. It’s a win-win where your soil benefits, as does the environment – and what’s not to like about that?