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I have a small garden that i just mulched using rice husks with 2-3 cm deep without incooporating them into the soil. Rice husks are very abundant here in Indonesia.

But lately from my googling around, I noticed that wood chip mulch seems to be significantly better, especially in terms of nutritions like nitrogen and friends for the soil, where rice husks lack aside from silica.

My aim is to prevent weeds, fix soil structure (hard compacted clay) and replenish the nutrients of the soil with minimum effort.

I have access to mahogany wood chip mulch, but it's a bit pricey -- strange that wood chip mulch is not more abundant here.

So I am now left wondering what to do with my garden that's been mulched -- Should I:

  • put composted chicken manures every 6 months and cover the manures with more rice husks to reduce the smell, and hope for the rain and watering sink the nutrients to the soil under the rice husks ?
  • add another layer of wood chip mulch on top of existing rice husk mulch, and hope for the rain and watering sink the nutrients to the soil under the rice husks ?

And if I were to do it again from the start with an existing unmulched garden, should I just skip rice husk and just go with wood chip mulch completely ? One benefit of the rice mulch that I noticed is that the snails hate it so much. I think it's harder to move with rice husks latching onto it's slime and I noticed all of them running away from husks.

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    There's a lot to be said for material that's locally abundant and cheap or free. I don't have rice husks available in that way; wood is, but wood is not a particularly good source of nitrogen either, AFAIK. Composting some of your rice hulls with chicken manure would get some nitrogen in there. Slugs and snails are quite happy with wood chips in my experience, so your rice hulls are certainly a win on that front.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 4, 2022 at 17:20

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I used two truckloads of rice hulls and chicken manure; from a chicken farm. I notice the aged pile of rice hulls has very few weeds compared with potting mix or even poor soil.

I suspect the rice hulls have a germination or growth inhibitor.

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