mulching

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woodburner

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Re: mulching
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2010, 11:23 »
I have been mentally chewing over the more widespread use of straw as a mulch, as I can get loads quite cheaply, and it's easier to distribute without damaging stuff than say manure, but I've been worrying about the nitrogen issue.
Having read this thread, the penny has dropped, that rotting away on the top of the soil, will not rob the soil of nitrogen, as it is surrounded by air, not soil (or composting material, as in a compost heap) and so will take it's nitrogen from the air not the ground/compost.  

Thanks Zazen and SarahB

Now I'm thinking that putting straw in the compost, even when mixed chicken poo, is not a good idea. So, I'm extra glad I'm changing my system from straw bedding to mesh floor and poop trays!  :D
I demand the right to buy seed of varieties that are not "distinct, uniform and stable".

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Zippy

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Re: mulching
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2010, 11:50 »
Hello WebSiteEvo. At last! I was beginning to think I was alone here as the only digging I do is to open up plant holes for the larger things like squashes. The rest I do by trowel.

Just keep piling the goods on top of the beds and leave the worms to do the work.

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GreenOwl

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Re: mulching
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2010, 13:12 »
I have been mentally chewing over the more widespread use of straw as a mulch, as I can get loads quite cheaply, and it's easier to distribute without damaging stuff than say manure, but I've been worrying about the nitrogen issue.
Having read this thread, the penny has dropped, that rotting away on the top of the soil, will not rob the soil of nitrogen, as it is surrounded by air, not soil (or composting material, as in a compost heap) and so will take it's nitrogen from the air not the ground/compost.  

I do remember a magazine article by Toby whatsit where he used straw as a mulch.  Unfortunately lots of little rodents liked the straw which could be a downside.

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woodburner

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Re: mulching
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2010, 15:26 »
This is my second time of using straw as the main mulch, and I haven't seen any signs of mice or other rodents. I suspect they may be attracted to the wheat grains, but around here, the pigeons get there first.  ::)

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boosh

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Re: mulching
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2010, 17:06 »
On our lottie site we mulch everything and i mean everything, and we mulch with straw based horse poo, We sit in on the top of the soil even round brasicas so long as it dose not touch the steams and is not dug in, This is my second year of doing this and the veg love it , This was passed onto me by a plot holder of 30+ years exep, and his words were" so long as it dose not touch the steams and don't dig it in."
It cuts done the watering, which is a big bonus. The weeds hate it aswell  :)



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