Amanda Doofenshmirtz
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I put straw on my garden in the fall. Now what?

I put straw down on my garden in the late fall. It is currently half empty (for vegetables) and half strawberries that spent the winter under the straw. What should i do now? Obviously i should uncover the strawberries but should i remove the straw, or cover it with compost, or what? Thanks!!

imafan26
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Re: I put straw on my garden in the fall. Now what?

I would put the straw in the compost.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: I put straw on my garden in the fall. Now what?

You can put the straw in the compost and that's obviously easiest, rake it up and throw it in compost. But particularly if the straw seems like it is partly broken down/ softened up from the Minnesota winter, you can just turn it under, bury it in the garden that it has been mulching. What you would worry about is that straw might use up some of the nitrogen from your soil in the process of being broken down. But one thing I have discovered. I use fall leaves to mulch my gardens for the winter. In spring, I turn them under. Having a stash of fall leaves under the soil seems to be a big inducement to earth worms and I have way more of them now than I used to. So there's pluses and minuses. You can deal with the Nitrogen problem by burying something green with your straw, like grass clippings.
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applestar
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Re: I put straw on my garden in the fall. Now what?

It makes a difference how your garden beds are arranged, but I imagine that I would rake and lift the soggy old straw out onto the paths as path mulch, and get fresh crisp/clean straw to mulch the strawberries with. The straw will get trampled into the mud and decompose quickly (and invite worms), then later, I would scrape up the good topsoil from the path for rebuilding the veg garden beds and planting, for hilling, etc. before mulching the paths with other less easy to decompose materials for the summer.
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Amanda Doofenshmirtz
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Re: I put straw on my garden in the fall. Now what?

Thanks everyone! I am going to wrake some out and work some into the soil. Cuz i used alot lol. The dry stuff can come off the top, and i bet the layer underneath is more decomposed. I will work some compost in, too. My soil science professor swears by grass clippings, so i will definitely use those this spring and summer. Thanks again everyone!

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