A lot of questions about mulch

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Rickyelwey, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Rickyelwey

    Rickyelwey Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I am in the USA and would like to use sugar cane mulch, but I can't find it anywhere( if you can point me in the correct direction thank you!)
    Also, on another note can I make my own sugar cane mulch at home if I were to want to grow my own sugar as well?Have any of you tried this? If so would it work?
    I was also wondering if anyone has growing bamboo to try and chip up to use as mulch? Would that be possible? I trying to find ways I may be able to grow my own mulch reuseable and quick. On the bamboo note. Has anyone tried growing a specific variety of bamboo in/on their gardens or farms to use for garden stakes, trellis or anything of that nature?
    Thank you!
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi there Rickyelwey, welcome.:wave:

    Golden Cane ornamental bamboo is a good one to grow for thin tall garden stakes but not thick stout ones.
    Also golden Cane is pretty, grows into a wide clump about 3-3.5m tall over 10 yrs.
    Can be used as a wind break.
    Growing your own sugar cane is ok and makes a good windbreak or privacy screen when grown in a long row.
    But you need to get fresh cuttings from a farm before the cane is harvested.
    That's the way farmers start new plants every 4-6 yrs.
    Sugar cane mulch is not always made from the residue of the crop. Maybe in USA they do something else with the residue (tops and trash).

    It might go for animal feed bulking to the cattle feedlots.
    If you can usually get sugar cane mulch but just not this year, it might be because it's not harvesting time yet?
     
  3. Rickyelwey

    Rickyelwey Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thank you :)
    I want the bamboo to use for garden stakes specifically, so thank you for the suggestions. I was also curious to know if anyone has used it somehow or another for a mulch(wishing) since it is supposed to grow so easily.
    The sugar cane would be more for consumption, I grew it as a young'n with my uncle.
    When I was much younger than now, we use to get it as a treat when I would visit him in Mexico. He came to CA at one point and long story short he told me, "to grow this, all you gotta do is stick this in the ground and it will eventually grow." -more or less uncle quote
    It grew, and they were snacks until I forgot about them.
    tldr; I want to figure out how to make natural sugar, I can (very) hopefully use the sugar cane's bi-product also to be extra resourceful(I know a small family's use of sugar cane won't be that much bi-product, but big baby steps :p)
    I got carried away, thank you for the reply :) def gonna get some sugar cane and look for Golden cane.

    ----To everyone, sorry if this is the wrong thread----
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  4. Glyn

    Glyn Member Premium Member

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    I grew sugar cane for mulch - chops up really well through the mulcher but be careful where you plant it as the rats LOVE it, they chew it off at the base and make nests under it. I moved it well away from the house and veggie garden then it's fine.
     
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  5. AZ Orchard

    AZ Orchard Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I am trying to grow lemongrass as a chop and drop ( or maybe use some dried leaves in tea! ) by seed.
    Depending upon how much you need for mulch, you may have to grow a lot of it. It is supposed to multiply
    nicely on its own. Mark has a video on it as well. Of course, he grows a Ton of it :)
     
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  6. Gerry C

    Gerry C Member Premium Member

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    If you're growing bamboo make sure it's a clumping variety like the golden cane suggested earlier.
    If you were to use it as mulch I'd suggest drying it for a couple of weeks before putting it on the garden
    just to avoid it setting root where you don't want it too.
    If you manage to get the sugar cane you can extract the juice by crushing it and use the leftover solids for mulch
    I think commercially they add mineral lime to the juice and heat to process it.
    The fresh juice is delicious though added to juices and smoothies or just by itself if you like sweet stuff.
    Oh and you could probably make jaggery from it without too much hassle. Check it out on the net.
    I've never done it but I do use a lot of jaggery in cooking.
     
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  7. DTK

    DTK Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I like your reference to Mark's video "a ton of it".
     
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  8. DTK

    DTK Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    G'day Rick, Welcome. I used to use a lot of sugar cane mulch, and while it added to the structure of the soil, I am not sure it adds too much in nutrients. Now that I am typing this I am urged to find back-up for that statement; folklore until now. I changed to lucerne and have enjoyed the contribution made by that. I am also keen to grow a green manure and dig that in. All the best, Dan
     
  9. Gerry C

    Gerry C Member Premium Member

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    I don't have any hard facts on sugar cane mulch nutrients but this taken from a supplier of it :
    "Made up of finally <shredded Australian organic Sugar Cane, this mulch is rich in nutrients that rejuvenate your soil and encourage Earthworm production throughout the soil."
    It certainly does seem to help soil structure though. and yes green manures are terrific if you can leave a bed empty for long enough to grow them.
     
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  10. V8srfun

    V8srfun Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I would be careful with the bamboo because it is so invasive. It would be terrible to see you use it as mulch and end up with it growing in the garden.
     
  11. Vicky

    Vicky Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Rickyelwey,
    If you are able to invest in a mulcher you can make mulch from nearly anything you grow. If you look into coppicing on the internet, that is a good way to have a yearly supply of wood chip type mulch if you have the trees that would take it. I have a Hansa C7 - I saved and saved and saved and was really only able to afford it because we found one on gumtree (a second hand sale site in Australia) a few years ago. It is bigger and more powerful than an electric mulcher and I put lots of tree branches through (we also have a wood heater so logs get cut for firewood) but I also put through a lot of our bigger garden waste at the end of the growing season, things like corn stalks and any stems from grains that we grow here and there, most other plants I will make sure to take any flowering parts off before mulching to stop any chance of them re growing. You can also age the mulch yourself or compost it to stop re growth. It has been one of the better investments we have made on our one and a quarter acre.
     
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  12. DTK

    DTK Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I agree Vicky. I had a small mulcher, still pretty good, but stuff used to get caught and I had to get it out. We saved and then my wife said I could buy a Hansa for my birthday. I reckon it is great and I am finding all sorts of stuff to mulch. Great investment!
     
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