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How to Lay Down Straw as Mulch

2012-08-11   Views:1

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Good mulch is an important part of growing a healthy, vibrant garden. A layer of straw as mulch protects perennials over cold winters by insulating the plants' roots. In a newly planted vegetable garden, a layer of straw as mulch helps to suppress we

How to Lay Down Straw as Mulch

Good mulch is an important part of growing a healthy, vibrant garden. A layer of straw as mulch protects perennials over cold winters by insulating the plants' roots. In a newly planted vegetable garden, a layer of straw as mulch helps to suppress weeds and retain moisture in the soil. Straw mulch is also a good winter protection around small plants and shrubs. While not as aesthetically pleasing as other mulch materials, straw is a good low-cost mulch.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

WheelbarrowKnife

Instructions

1 Select clean straw. If you are growing an organic garden, use organic straw. Don't use hay. It is likely to contain weed seeds. Place the straw bale in a wheelbarrow for easy transport to the mulching site.

2 Cut the strings holding the straw bale together. Take the sections of straw from the bale and fluff up the material by pulling it apart.

3 Spread a 6- to 8-inch layer of straw over perennials in the fall before the last frost occurs. Cut most perennials to the ground in late fall. Spread the mulch layer directly over the root area.

4 Spread an 8-inch layer of straw mulch around shrubs and small landscape trees. Start the mulch layer about 2 to 4 inches away from the base of the stem or trunk and extend it out to 2 to 4 feet past the tips of the outermost branches.

5 Place a 4- to 6-inch layer of straw mulch around annual vegetable plants when they are 6 to 8 inches tall. Keep a 2-inch circle clear around each plant.

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