Advantages and Disadvantages of using Wood Chips for Garden

Good gardeners know that a healthy garden requires a lot more than just watering and mowing. It needs appropriate cleanup and maintenance tools such as Lawnmowers, Trimmers and chipper shredders, and a constant battle with weeds and pests. In this regard, mulch is widely used in gardens to promote healthy plants and protect the soil.

Although Synthetic mulches are widely available in the market, they’re super expensive and also cause environmental concerns. Hence, using Natural Wood Chips as mulch is an ultimate hack for all the gardeners out there, and trust me; these wood chips are going to save you lots of money!

Undoubtedly, using Wood Chips for Garden has its very own advantages, along with certain disadvantages. However, an important aspect to comprehend here is that these pros and cons vary from landscape to landscape. Thus, to help you identify the real benefits and drawbacks Wood Chips, here we have discussed its advantages and disadvantages in detail.

Advantage of using Wood Chips for Garden

A Natural Pest Repellent

Wood chip mulch of certain trees such as pine, cedar, or cypress work as a natural repellant for harmful pests and insects. It effectively reduces the flea populations and is also able to eliminate gnats and ticks. They can be used in your anywhere in your garden, including flower beds and around the trees and bushes.

Retains Soil Moisture

It’s quite common for soils to lack water, especially in summers, when the weather is dry and hot. Even if you add water to the soil frequently, it still evaporates from the surface immediately. Adding a wood chip mulch layer prevents this moisture loss by forming a thick layer above the soil. As a result, the soil will require less frequent irrigation and will retain adequate moisture levels throughout the season.

Prevents Soil erosion and maintain the soil nutrients

As the wood chip mulch forms a thick defensive layer over your soil bed, it prevents direct contact of wind or water with the soil. As a result, the soil doesn’t erode even in the strongest seasons. This protective shield also helps soil retain its appropriate nutrient levels as now soil can repair itself. Also, wood chips increase the effectiveness when other nutrients such as Manure or compost are added.

Encourages earthworm Growth

Using organic matter on soil promotes under soil growth of earthworm, which plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling and structure. Most soil issues are due to the absence of these worms, hence using Wood chips mulch can help maintain healthy soil.

Forms insulation layer in winter

With a thick layer of mulch above your soil, it forms an insulating layer that prevents frost damage in winters. It can help maintain the surface temperature of your soil, without reducing the amount of moisture that reaches the soil by snow.

Disadvantages of using Wood Chips for Garden

Fire risks to your property

Unfortunately, Wood Chips and shavings may increase the risks of fire hazards, especially during dry and hot months. Not just that, it may also catch fire from cooking equipment, lanterns, and lighters. Therefore, always make sure to keep these objects far away from your garden.

Increased Fungal Growth and a higher risk of termite attacks

Although the benefits of Wood Chips may be observed for a period, however over time, fungi will become dominant in your yard, which can eventually decline the production. Most probably, you’ll be able to witness such drawbacks within a couple of years.

In case you already face termite problems, adding wood chips to your garden is a big No! Wood chips attract termites, which may actually worsen the situation. Wood chips are especially not recommended if you have field beds that are next to your home.

Requires additional Manure to maintain nutrient balance

As Wood Chips have a higher carbon to nitrogen ratio, now you will need more Manure to stabilize the nutrient level in your soil. This additional Manure is required in large amounts, which may increase your expenditure.


Applying fresh Wood Chips to your garden may give it an appealing look temporarily, however, once the season ends, the same chips or shavings turn into ugly grey, and gives very unpleasant vibes. Consequently, to prevent such apparent issues, you’d be required to add a fresh layer of mulch each year.


Woodchip’s effectiveness varies from landscape to landscape, hence it’s complicated to categorize it as ideal mulch. The best approach in this regard is to adopt the trial and error method and find it out if it works for you. All the above-stated advantages and disadvantages are proven and backed with thorough research.

We hope our guide proves to be useful and would have assisted you in this regard.