[Market-farming] speaking of mulch

Brigette Leach avalonfarmshomegrown at earthlink.net
Sun May 15 13:41:26 EDT 2005

Because we had an abundance of baled straw (large round bales) when we discontinued feeding hogs, we tried mulching between rows in the garden, spreading it quite thickly.  All in all it was acceptable.  The only place weeds were a problem is where the wheat straw wasn't thick enough. And the price was right.  It does germinate and grow a little, but ends up looking like sparse grass. Actually rather nice to work in and around. Oat straw would not be...too scratchy. The bales were easy, lol, to unroll and spread between rows, kinda like a roll of dollar bills. While most of you wouldn't have the large bales, I'm sure that smaller bales would be available locally and much easier to handle. Be sure to pick up the twine, you don't need it wrapped around the tiller blades. We grow wheat so always have straw in the barn. Those of you who don't, might find some one with a few 2-3 year old bales they'd like to get rid of for free. 

When we empty a barn, there is always lots of loose straw, and we would simply sweep it into the animal pens under the mow, but since we don't have livestock any longer, nowhere to use it except on the garden and in compost.  Loose straw would be another option if you could figure out how to handle it and get it back to your farm.  No, it isn't organic or pesticide free, but the way wheat crops are grown in Michigan, and much of the US, not many are applied anyway, We visited the UK to look at wheat production there and it is very highly managed, with much higher yields and heads that are 6-8" long. Of course they can't grow corn or soybeans in those areas, but it is perfect for wheat. Not alot of high temps nor very cold, moisture often...

Brigette Leach
Avalon Farms Premium Homegrown

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: Russell Bryant 
To: Market Farming
Sent: 5/15/2005 12:50:18 PM 
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] speaking of mulch

Buy dairy quality alfalfa it is expensive but high in nitrogen and relativly weed free 
talk to a local dairy farmer if he is like me he mighrt have a bale high in moisture and slightly moldy or one that got wet. They wil give that away.
has anyone ever used a tensiomonter not sure of spelling used to chec moisture of soil? also where to get one in the midwest (Nebraska)
Russ Bryant
----- Original Message ----- 
From: mmaysen 
To: 'Market Farming' 
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2005 11:04 AM
Subject: [Market-farming] speaking of mulch

What do I look for when buying "hay"?  I don't know anything about this.  I would like to use it as mulch in several beds.
However, last year I purchased some bails of "hay" and the area I mulched with it, is now full of tall grassy-weeds which are difficult to get rid of.
Isn't there something that won't cause more problems after it breaks down?
 <snip>... was well established, now we just use mulch (ground hay) .
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