Question Mulch

Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Massey, AL
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
I see where Mark uses sugar cane mulch on his raised beds. I purchased Birdies raised garden beds to use this year. I have been unsuccessful finding the sugar cane mulch and I'm reading do not use pine mulch on my vegetable plants. Alternative suggestions? In Alabama-USA.
 
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The main advantage of sugar cane is that it doesn't have seeds in it.

Straw will do the job just fine. Hay works, but will likely have a lot more seeds in it, so isn't ideal.

Either way, try to use organic if you can. A lot of crops are sprayed with a herbicide just before harvest to kill off the seeds. This can then cause problems when you try to grow things in it.
 
one main key not to use pine mulch the acidity, stay away from pine needles, oak or walnut leaves the tannins and acidity will kill off your plants , sugar cane mulch has a different texture and not as acidic as some. i use grass and leafs for mulch tossed in to compost and let it cook to kill off seeds and then a good layer around plants
 
The main advantage of sugar cane is that it doesn't have seeds in it.

Straw will do the job just fine. Hay works, but will likely have a lot more seeds in it, so isn't ideal.

Either way, try to use organic if you can. A lot of crops are sprayed with a herbicide just before harvest to kill off the seeds. This can then cause problems when you try to grow things in it.
Thank you! This helps tremendously
 
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one main key not to use pine mulch the acidity, stay away from pine needles, oak or walnut leaves the tannins and acidity will kill off your plants , sugar cane mulch has a different texture and not as acidic as some. i use grass and leafs for mulch tossed in to compost and let it cook to kill off seeds and then a good layer around plants
Thank you. very helpful
 
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Hi. I am in Brisbane (AUST) and use a variety of mulches. I like the HogelKulture method for lower level then lasagne layers. I use a lot of sugar cane mulch and lucerne.
 
I am going to try using wood shavings from wood mills. Typically used as bedding for smaller livestock.
 
I bought some hay to use as mulch on potatoes (that weren't dug into the ground) ( - as an example). The hay compacted quite a bit, and when I changed to sugar cane mulch (or straw) I could peel the hay off in one piece. Straw is dry/dead as hay still has the moisture/nutrients in it so they react differently. (This technique didn't work for me, but I'm sure it was more my fault). Kevin at Epic Gardening seems to use a straw that has been chopped up.
 
one main key not to use pine mulch the acidity, stay away from pine needles, oak or walnut leaves the tannins and acidity will kill off your plants , sugar cane mulch has a different texture and not as acidic as some. i use grass and leafs for mulch tossed in to compost and let it cook to kill off seeds and then a good layer around plants
Good point. High acidity mulches aren't much good for some veggies, but that being said they're great for some plants that love a slightly more acidic soil, such as radishes, blueberries, sweet potatoes, cranberries.. there's quite a lot that will thrive in moderately acidic soil and even more that will tolerate slightly acidic soil. If acidic high mulches such as pine is all that is available, sprinkling some wood ash on the garden and watering it in will counteract that. So don't be afraid to use pine and the like if that's all you have available, just be aware that you may need to do more to counteract the acidity to bring the soil back to a better pH for the plants.
 
A tip if you're wanting something cheap and have little choice and are looking at using straw: livestock food suppliers sometimes end up with straw that isn't good for their usual use with animals because it got a bit damp and mold/mildew started forming. They sometimes sell these off cheap as bales to be used as barricades for events rather than being used for animal bedding or eating, or they get thrown out. They make for good cheap mulch and even better compost if you're using them in a place where the veggies and fruits you're growing won't be harmed by any mold/mildew. Just make sure to wear a protective mask when handling them to avoid breathing in fungal spores (which you should always do anyway). Ask around and leave your number with anyone that is interested in having a customer that will be happy to buy damaged straw stock for mulch at a fair for them and cheap for you price.
 
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