Last Modified: April 2, 2024

Wood Chippings Bulk Bag

Buyers Guide For DIY Gardeners

Bulk bags of wood chippings in rows

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Overview

Wood chippings are a versatile and environmentally-friendly option for landscape gardeners. They serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, ranging from creating an organic look in flower beds to preventing weed growth. This guide looks at the advantages of wood chippings, estimating the right amount and buying in bulk.

A quick heads-up regarding our freshly introduced tool, the 'Pebble Picker', accessible in the sidebar or menu. It streamlines the task of viewing and comparing decorative aggregates, organised by colour and type, for your convenience.

Palms and shrubs in wood chip bed. Jpg

Key Takeaways:

  • Benefits: Wood chippings are a great value mulch packed with benefits
  • Versatile: Suitable for play areas, paths, flower beds, and more.
  • Warning: Some wood chips are treated with chemicals that may not be suitable for all purposes.
  • Cost-Effective: Buying wood chippings in bulk can save money.
Purple leaves and grasses around chipped wood ground cover

Benefits Of Bulk Wood Chippings

Wood chip, especially when bought by the bulk bag, can be a very cost-effective type of decorative aggregate. As a long-lasting material, its durability means less frequent replenishment, saving money and time in the long run.

Here are the primary advantages of using wood chip mulch:

  1. 1
    Weed Control: Works as a natural barrier for preventing weeds, reducing the need for continuous weeding.
  2. 2
    Moisture Conservation: Beneficial for helping plants to conserve moisture during the summer months and reduces the frequency of regular watering.
  3. 3
    Temperature Regulation: Insulates plant roots from direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions, such as summer heat and winter cold.
  4. 4
    Erosion Prevention: Assists in preventing erosion by stabilising the topsoil and lessening the impact of rainfall or wind.
  5. 5
    Soil Improvement: As it gradually decomposes, it contributes nutrients to the topsoil, enhancing its fertility and structure.
Evergreen plants in a garden border

Play Areas, Flower Beds and Borders

For those looking create low-maintenance, aesthetically pleasing ground covers their flower beds and borders, wood chip are a versatile choice. They not only provide the beds a neat finish but also regulate soil temperature and retain moisture, benefiting the plants.

Using wood chips for play area surfaces, such as play grade wood chips, is one of the go-to choices for play surface safety. At the right depth, they provide natural cushioning and reduce the risk of injuries.

Decorative palms in a garden bed with wood mulch

Wood Chip Mulch & Topsoil

Wood chippings can act as an effective mulch layer, providing protection to plants and the topsoil underneath. However, unless they are composted wood chip, they can be very slow to break down, especially when first laid and fresh. Therefore, when using fresh wood chips as a garden mulch, it is advisable to consider integrating a layer of bark mulch or topsoil for the additional nutrients your plants need.

Organic vs. Treated Wood Chip

While natural wood chippings are popular for their organic appeal, some opt for treated types. These are mostly utilised for installations where longevity is a primary goal, such as for driveways or garden paths. Treated chippings can be more resilient and hard-wearing, but is important to ensure any treatment is safe for your intended use.

Plants and a rockery bark chips garden. Jpg

Important Note

Bags of wood chips and garden bark products may contain a pesticide called methyl bromide and may contain pathogens which can affect plant growth and animal health. Always check the product description and consult the supplier for these details before purchasing.

Need to work out how much wood chip your play area or mulching  project needs? Use our free wood chip calculator.

Saving Money With Wood Chip Mulch

When planning a landscape project, it's always important to accurately evaluate the quantity required. Utilising a wood chip calculator online is one of the best ways to ensure accurate ordering and minimise cost overruns. Once you enter the area you need to cover, our calculator will return the amount of wood chippings, in bulk bag units.

Wherever possible, it is best to bulk buy wood chips by the bulk bag, as it is more economical than buying multiple smaller bags. Also, where very large wood chip quantities are required, the most significant bulk discounts can be attained by purchasing loose loads ranging from 0.7㎥ to far larger (via an articulated lorry). For most people though, bulk bags will be the most common size required for regular garden needs.

Spring bulbs coming up through landscaping bark. Jpg

Free Woodchip

Shredding your own woody waste is another way of saving money on mulch. While there is an initial setup costs, there are many advantages, which we cover in our article about tree shredding.

There is also a website offering free woodchip in the UK, which you can find all the details about, here.

Wood Chip Delivery

Most top bag suppliers offer bulk bag wood chips, delivered via pallet-based couriers. It's always best to check that your bagged wood chips are not torn or damaged at the time your wood chippings delivered, as they can create a real mess when moving and storing. Also, consider where the bulk bags will be stored as it's essential to keep them in a dry place for longer term storage.

Installing shredded wood garden mulch. Jpg

Summary

Getting wood chip delivered in bulk bags is the most convenient and best value way to purchase when embarking on wood chip landscaping. There are a few ways to maximise your savings with this hard wearing and versatile decorative aggregate.

Measuring a bulk bag

FAQs

Can I put fresh wood chippings on my garden?

Yes, fresh wood chippings may be applied to gardens. However, initially, they might draw nitrogen from the garden soil as they break down. It's often a good idea to age them a bit or mix with compost. It is best to avoid using them with young plants in general.

What are the disadvantages of wood chippings?

Wood chippings can sometimes attract pests, deplete soil nitrogen during decomposition and may be slightly acidic, which might not suit all plants. Always best to check for details about the specific product before purchasing.

How much does a wood chippings ton bag cover?

Both a wood chip tonne bag, and wood chippings ton bag, cover about 20-30㎡ at a depth of 5cm.

How much is a tonne of wood chip?

A tonne of woodchip cost will vary based on quality, region, and treatment. It's best to get the wood chips price from local suppliers or online.

What area does 100 Litres of wood chip cover?

Approximately, 100 litres of wood chip covers an area of about approx. 1-2㎡, depending on the depth you apply.

There are many other varieties of wood chippings available for your project. Check out them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.