My guest this week is Ben Raskin, the Soil Association’s Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry. Ben is the author of several books on gardening, including Zero-Waste Garden and The Community Gardening Handbook. His latest book is ‘The Woodchip Handbook’, which I was very excited to read and even more excited to speak with Ben about, because I’ve long been a fan of using wood chip in the garden.
In the interview, we cover the many uses for woodchip in the garden, how it can help with plant and soil health, what sort of wood makes good chip and the do’s and don’ts of using it.
Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: The Syrphids
What We Talk About
Making your own
Different species of tree woodchip
Runoff when storing woodchip
Do we need to store or compost woodchip before we use it?
The uses for woodchip in the garden
What is ramial chipped wood and what can it be used for?
The benefits of using woodchip as a mulch
Avoiding suppressing self-seeders
Woodchip and carbon retention
What happens to woodchip if treated as ‘waste’?
About Ben Raskin
Ben Raskin has worked in horticulture for more than 25 years, developing a wide range of experience both in practical commercial growing and wider policy and advocacy work.
As the Soil Association’s Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry, he provides growers at all levels of production with technical, marketing, policy, supply chain and networking support. He is currently implementing a 200-acre silvopastural agroforestry planting in Wiltshire.
Ben is the author of several previous books on gardening, including Zero-Waste Gardening (2021), The Community Gardening Handbook (2017) and three volumes of the Grow Together Guides aimed at families with young children: Compost, Grow, and Bees, Bugs, and Butterflies.
Additionally, Ben co-chairs the Defra Edibles Horticulture Roundtable and sits on the boards of the Organic Growers Alliance and Community Supported Agriculture Network UK.
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