As you finish landscaping a garden area, a layer of mulch is often one of the last steps to finishing the task. Wood chips, a suitable and effective mulch, gradually decompose over time, enriching the soil with nitrogen. If you seek to block weeds beneath the wood chips, lay down a sheet of weed blocking fabric or black plastic before applying the wood chips.
Rake the soil smooth where you will be applying the wood chips. Try to make the soil level and even.
Place the weed block fabric or the black plastic over the soil area. Unroll the fabric or the plastic over the soil and use the scissors to cut the fabric or plastic to size. Cut holes in the plastic or fabric to surround plants, if necessary.
Apply the wood chips in an even layer 2 to 4 inches thick. Use the rake to spread the wood chips evenly and smoothly over the entire soil area.
Replenish the wood chips annually if they decompose. Wood chips also float away easily in excess running water. Keep the wood chip depth at a 2- to 4-inch thickness. Laying wood chips over a plastic layer will slow the decomposition of the wood chips.