[Market-farming] mulching pathways and classic blunders

Scott Breneman sbreneman at yourgoodwill.org
Wed Mar 2 09:24:43 EST 2011

We've tried a lot of different mulching and cover crops between plastic:  We used to get rolls on unprinted newsprint and put 3 ply down and mulch on top of it and it worked pretty well in the berry patch. 

Then, we got the idea to do that between plastic, spent several days laying thousands of feet of paper three passes thick, mulched carefully with straw, and wetted down with sprinklers. That weekend, I was about an hour away from the farm when the humidity dropped very low and the wind blew like crazy.  When I came into the farm Monday morning, 40ft tall trees had been toilet-papered to the tops with our 40 inch paper, 100 foot sections of paper were blowing all over the farm, and wrapped around everything.  We haven't used paper since.

Cover crops:

we've tried rye, oats, sudan, jap. millet, clovers--the edge is *always* weedy.  Clover usually dies out and is slippery, the others need too much mowing. I'd recommend oats, barley or wheat if trying it. 

I think straw mulch is probably the best option--moisture rention, weed supression, and soil building. 

Goodwill at Homefields Farm 

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