Monday, May 16, 2016

STRAW MULCH FOR RAISED BEDS

EZ-Straw bale
Many thanks to one of the friends of the farm, Colleen, for giving us a heads up for this straw.  She commented about putting down straw and she gets the bags at Tractor Supply store.  We have a Tractor Supply here in town so I stopped by and found the same bag she used.  This package was $9.99.


It may not look like a lot in the bag but it's sort of compressed into it.  Now as Colleen reminded us, you always want to use straw, not hay, because hay can have seeds in it and you sure don't want to be spreading that all around your garden.  So I put the straw down, spreading it around the herbs...


And here in the larger tomato and pepper bed.  Speaking of, the tomatoes are growing well!  I am not sure if it's too late, but before I put the straw down, I planted assorted beet seeds along the sides of this bed and in the eggplant bed, I put a couple rows of assorted carrots.  I figured I'd throw caution to the wind (and seeds to the soil) and see what comes up.

Raised beds with straw mulch
I also put it in the eggplant bed and another bed that I'll be planting some plants in.  Oh, and I put some in the front bed with the persistent chives.  More herbs coming there too.  There is one bed left to weed (you can see above) but I was trying to beat the rain.


I was able to clear out these four on the other side as well.  We'll need to get a couple more bales of straw but I think we'll try that as a weed preventive.  I added several bags of GOOD soil (a raised bed blend) to them.

Side note, the black weed fabric was still down and hadn't come up.  I did put down 150 more staples all around to make SURE it would stay down. In a couple of spots, I pulled it back to check and the grass underneath was dying!

Baby steps!

17 comments:

  1. That looks so good - neat and tidy! Really going to help with weed prevention and watering.

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    1. I think that's a big benefit too, peace of mind when it's all clean and tidy, ha. And side note, no worries about watering THIS week, ha.

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  2. Where is everyone today? Thanks for this post, I almost got some hay from a neighbor to put around my vegetable garden. I don't need more weed, THAT'S for sure!

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    1. Ha, it was a light day for comments huh? Thanks! Yep, I didn't know that about hay either...thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I so agree with Texas Rose in looking so neat and tidy. They really look Awesome
    Makes your plantings really stand out, plus will keep the soil from drying out so quickly.
    I put straw down with Everything I plant,whether it's flowers in containers or planted in the ground; I lay it around my Meyer Lemon which is in large container, and especially my around my strawberry plants which is a big help in keeping the fruit from laying in the soil. A little straw goes a long ways and I like it so much better than using bags and bags of cypress mulch

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    1. Thank YOU for the suggestion too! I'm going back this weekend (if the rain will stop) and get a couple more bales. It does seem like a better solution than bags of messy mulch.

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  4. Colleen is right, straw is so much better than mulch that just sort of lays there and costs so much. Yours went a long way for $10. Good job!

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    1. It did go a long way for us, happy for that. I only need a couple more bales I think. Thank you! And yes, should be much easier than bark mulch. Thanks!!!

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  5. hmmmmmmmmmmmm, may have to give this straw idea a try.

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    1. Thanks, I will have an update this weekend to let everyone know how it held up in the storms we've had.

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  6. Looking good. We get some very windy days so I tend to use eucalyptus chip mulch. And have been trapped with hay before...

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    1. I bet eucalyptus mulch smells wonderful. This is supposed to hold up well, we've had some big storms this week so I'll get some firsthand results this weekend.

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  7. 1st Man,

    Your garden boxes and pathway looks amazing.
    We have straw in our beds, and recently with all the rain I had to remove some to help dry out the sitting water. Otherwise, we end up with all kinds of growing fungus.

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    1. Hmm, never thought about that, I'll keep an eye out for that. Thank you! The beds drain pretty quickly but I'll need to make sure. Thanks! Yes, we love the fabric down, we can do mulch later on if we decide.

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  8. Who'da think it? Straw in a bag. But it looks perfect and convenient. I think I ought to keep a bag around. Great tip.

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    1. Straw in a bag is an interesting thing huh? Probably not as cost efficient, but definitely convenient for smaller amounts. :-)

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  9. Looks great! I think I may need to invest in some of that weed fabric, especially if our new garden bed holds up. Always a work in progress.

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