Mulch deters weeds, retains soil moisture, and stabilizes soil temperature to ease root stress, making for happier, healthier, plants. Wood chips make an ideal landscaping and garden mulch. They start out a yellowish tan, but quickly fade to an attractive silver-gray. Even better, wood chips for mulch are often available from from community solid waste agencies: 20 to 30 percent of landfill space is taken up by yard waste like brush, so many communities are chipping this brush and offering it free. Mulch with wood chips, and make your landscape, and your community, greener.
Turn over a pile of wood chips using a spading fork. Wear gardening gloves. Remove any large pieces of roots and any non-organic debris from the wood chip pile.
Shovel the wood chips into a wheelbarrow, and wheel them to where you intend to apply mulch. Dump the wood chips out nearby, but not on, your intended mulched bed.
Rake the mulch around trees and landscape shrubs using a metal rake. Apply the wood chips 2 to 4 inches deep, and just up to the bottoms of the trunks for trees and shrubs.
Gently pile the wood chips by hand between herbaceous plants like annual and perennial flowers or vegetable plants. Wear gloves while handling wood chips to avoid splinters.