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What the garden bed’s soil looks like two years after using wood chips and prunings

Χώμα σε παρτέρι

Two years ago I started an experiment in my garden. I wanted to see how adding organic matter in depth would improve the soil. How adding prunings, wood chips, compost, manure would improve the soil.

Today I’m going to show you the results. Maybe you can apply this technique and benefit from it.

Two years ago

Two years ago, specifically in July 2018, I decided to start an experiment on a garden bed I had made with garden tiles.

I wanted to see how the incorporation of prunings, wood chips, compost and manure would affect the quality of the soil.

I wanted to bury the prunings, wood chips, compost and manure. Not to spread them on the surface.


So I dug and removed the soil from the bed to a depth of at least 20 to 25 cm. I placed the soil I removed on a tarp so that I could easily reuse it to cover the garden bed.

Αφαίρεσα χώμα σε βάθος 20 με 25 εκατοστά
I removed 20 to 25 inches of soil

In the gap created, I added gradually:

  • Olive branches (whole branches, large and small)
  • Wood Chips from olives and other trees
  • Compost that I had made and bought
  • Manure that I had bought and made from olive trees, olive trees, olives, olives from other trees, olive trees and other woods
Προσθέτω κλαδέματα και wood chips
I add the prunings and wood chipsΠροσθέτω κοπριά και κομπόστ I add manure and compost.

I then covered this mixture with the soil I had removed. I occasionally vibrated it (as if it were cement) so that the soil went everywhere, not just on the surface. I wanted the soil to fill in as many gaps as possible.

Σκέπασα με το χώμα που είχα βγάλει
Covering the materials with the soil I had removed

For the first few weeks, I watered the soil. Then the fall and winter rains came and watering became “automatic”.

That’s how two years went by.

For two years, nature did its work. On the surface there were no major changes.

Today. The moment of truth for the soil

Today, August 2020, I dug up the soil in the garden bed to prepare it for fall and winter planting. It had already been two years since I started the experiment.

I wondered if the soil would make a difference?

The first pleasant surprise, was how easy it was to dig the soil. The soil was not heavy and hard. The hoe penetrated easily. Dare I say as in “butter”. A big positive surprise because the soil in my garden is generally heavy and hard to dig in.

As I was lifting clods of soil, I noticed that the bottom was black in color.

The black color that good organic matter has.

Χώμα σε παρτέρι
After 2 years, the soil is very soft, easy to dig and rich in organic matter!

I consider the experiment a success.

This is another way to use prunings and wood chips in your garden to get organic-rich soil suitable for crops.

I hope my experience will help you in your garden too.


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