Wood chips should not be used in the garden, as they will pull nitrogen from the soil as they decompose, leaving the soil not only void of nitrogen but also very acidic. Wood chips inhibit the germination of seeds and will take four years to break down, which is why wood chips are ideal for mulch under shrubs where the weeds need to be kept under control.
About this Author
Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.