crazyhorse
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 4:58 pm
Location: Greenwood, Ms

mulching

Hi Everyone,
I would like to know what y'all would recommend to use as mulch to keep down weeds and grass, I am not in real good health and hoeing is not on my agenda.
Any suggestions will be appreciated, I have been told hay would do the trick, then others have said that hay may sprout and I would be in worse shape.
I have tried that black cloth mulch and the weeds just grow right on through.
So I need some advice.
Many thanks,
Frank aka crazyhorse

pd
Senior Member
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:17 pm

I don't know what you might have available in your locality but here in the UK we use any of the following -

Farm manures - Animal droppings mixed with bedding material such as straw or wood shavings also add some plant nutrients. Compost for several months before use.

Garden compost - Well made garden compost is an excellent mulch but you need to have an adequate supply available.

Wood chippings - hedge clippings can be used as a mulch if shredded and composted well but conifer clippings must be composted for 2 months before use to release toxins that my harm plants.

Bark - this is always available to purchase and frequently used.

Leaf mould - leaf mulches are fine when composted for eighteen months before use. Oak and beech leaves are particularly suitable.

Grass clippings - (non seeding) are suitable but only as a shallow mulch.

Pine needles - are a good mulch around ericaceous and any other acid loving subjects.

Gravel - as an alternative to organic mulches. Also, landscape material covered with wood chippings or gravel.

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boggybranch
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:19 pm
Location: Ashford, AL (Zone 8b)

I use year-round mulching. I use Bermuda hay, which is plant propagated instead of seed propagating. I put the mulch down, initially, around 8 inches thick. Don't worry about weed seeds sprouting because the thickness of the mulch will prevent that from happening. The only "weed" that it won't stop, for me, is nut grass........then, again, I think it's capable of coming up through concrete.
Appx. 1,500 sq ft vegetable garden. Special gardening interests is composting and year-round mulching. Use no power equipment, everything is done in the garden using hand tools, only.

judycape
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 12:55 am
Location: Statesville NC

Mulching

I like to take several thicknesses of newspaper and put that down on the ground first (being careful not to cover the plants). Then cover that over with straw (not hay). Water the newspaper/straw covering very well. Grass cannot grow through the newspaper, and everything eventually detoriates into the soil.

crazyhorse
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 4:58 pm
Location: Greenwood, Ms

mulch

Well, I don't know where I would find any of that fancy hay and straw around here so I guess I will continue to hoe for the time being.
Many thanks

TZ -OH6
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Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

3-4 sheets of newspaper covered by just about anything works pretty well. I use grass clippings, but straw would be another good choice because it does not have the seeds hay does. And it is easy to patch any holes, which is a big problem with weed block fabric.

elevenplants
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:23 pm
Location: alabama

If you have a Lowe's nearby, they probably carry the hay and/or straw. Mine does.

Rebecca

Kenzie
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:09 pm
Location: Arkansas River Valley

Re: mulch

crazyhorse wrote:Well, I don't know where I would find any of that fancy hay and straw around here so I guess I will continue to hoe for the time being.
Many thanks
Do you have a Farmer's Co-op nearby? Mine has been a real lifesaver in my first year gardening and they also sell the hay and everything else I've needed so far. Most of the time their prices are more reasonable than the home stores and, since they're locally owned, I would rather hand my money over to them than some big chain store.
Good luck!
McKenzie ~ Full-time wife and Mommy
-- Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible. ~Sharon Schuster
-- Live In The Sunshine ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

mulch

I use wood chips for flower beds and last fall's leaves for veggies. If you don't want to grow anything there (like for paths between your beds) you can put down lots of newspaper or even carpet scraps. Except with the carpet scraps, weeds still do come through, just a lot less of them. The mulch also holds moisture in and (again except for carpet scraps) adds organic matter to your soil...

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

mulch

I use wood chips for flower beds and last fall's leaves for veggies. If you don't want to grow anything there (like for paths between your beds) you can put down lots of newspaper or even carpet scraps. Except with the carpet scraps, weeds still do come through, just a lot less of them. The mulch also holds moisture in and (again except for carpet scraps) adds organic matter to your soil...

Arriga
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Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:20 am
Location: Charles Town WV

Straw/Hay

If I use straw of hay, do I have to worry about the birds using it for nests and building them around my house (ie under my deck or in my vents)?

TZ -OH6
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Birds will build nests whereever they find a good spot regardles of how close by building materials are, and hay is generally too stiff for nest building.

My local nursery carries straw bales. Check with any feed stores in your area. If they have hay for feed they may also have straw for bedding.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I like it -- Early in the spring, the grackles, robins, and sparrows took some of the straw. Later on in the spring, the grackles and robins were back, but instead of taking the straw, they were flicking them around, using their beaks like a shovel, then they reached in deep and flew off with their prize -- worm or slug -- for their babies, and the sparrows were sorting out the seeds -- even the straw is never quite seed-free. :wink:

We've plugged the vents with bird-proof vent covers so starlings won't nest there, and the grackles are nesting in the neighbor's Callery pear tree and the robins are nesting in another neighbor's white pine tree. Cardinals are nesting nearby too and fly in to pick off bugs among the vegetables. Sparrows are nesting in yet another neighbor's juniper bushes -- saw one fly off with a winged insect in it's beaks, the wrens nesting in one of OUR birdhouses are busy inspecting under the patio furniture and along the fence -- hopefully for moth pupae, though they like spiders too, and the chickadees and titmice are snatching aphids off the plum leaves. :wink:

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BrianSkilton
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Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

I use cedar mulch around my strawberries, and keeps the weeds out pretty good. Mulch also helps keeps things like Strawberries and Cucumbers and Squash from rotting.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

chefshelle
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Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:34 pm
Location: Jefferson City, Missouri

I agree with the newspaper. You can also use magazines.

If you'd like to use the newspaper on walkways in the garden as well, call your local Newspaper. Around here, they throw away the end of the rolls and they'll give it to you. That makes it very easy to roll it right out!
Michele

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