Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Applying RCW on a seedbed

One of the key methods of going green is to reuse things around us. This week I write about an innovative method of reusing wood. This I learnt during my training at the Songhai Centre Port- Novo, Benin Republic. You can read about my Songhai Experience here. This very interesting method is referred to as Ramial Chip Wood Application (RCW).

Ramial chip woods are gotten from the crushing of stems, branches and leaves that are non- acidic for fertilization of the soil. The application of chipped wood is done to replicate the effect of natural falling leaves from a tree to the soil and the effect it has after decomposition. Non-acidic wood is said to be used here majorly and decomposition start at about 7 to 8 months. It should be noted that one could have 80% - 20% ratio of non- acidic to acidic wood.

Ramial chipped wood is considered the number one means of fertilizing the soil. There is also a secretion of various antibiotics from bacteria in the chip wood. This helps to protect crop from certain attacks.

Ramial chipped wood is not immediately functional. Thus it is good to mix the use of both RCW and compose. It actually takes 2-3 yrs to start fertilizing the soil. The interesting thing however is that research work shows that such soil fertilized by RCW remains same for another five (5) years.

·         Maintains soil humidity
·         Contributes to destroying weeds
·         Fertilization of the soil
·         Long time preservation of soil nutrients
·         Protection of crop from certain attacks.
·         A good material for mulching

It is however important to note that RCW result in carrying out deforestation especially when entire trees are cut down. Thus it is emphasis to replant after cutting down old tress.

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  1. This is a wonderful information and higHLY COOL and GREEN.

  2. Thats a very wonderful innovation. As a Soil Scientist I can easily relate with the fact that the RCW will act as a mulch, however it also acting as a natural herbicide and insecticide is something really wonderful!