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Using waste hay as a garden mulch?

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  • David
    Last year I tried using the dry lot area that I winter the ewes in, to grow vegetables. I figured that the soil would be rich from the natural fertilizer left
    Message 1 of 112 , Apr 23, 2013
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      Last year I tried using the dry lot area that I winter the ewes in, to
      grow vegetables. I figured that the soil would be rich from the natural
      fertilizer left by the sheep. last year I I turned the soil prior to
      planting, and that was a mistake. The weeds quickly took over. This time
      I plan on seeding without turning. there is about 4 inches of waste hay
      covering the area. the bottom layer is wet, dark and breaking down. At
      what level should I plant the seeds. Should I scatter them on top, or
      should I rake off the dry hay, scatter the seeds on the wet rotted hay,
      and then recover with the dry hay? Any suggestions on how I should start?

      I posted 2 images. One of the dry lot / garden area, and a close up of
      the waste hay.

      Dry lot / garden
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/photos/album/1265216517/pic/1427261286/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc>

      Waste hay.
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/photos/album/1265216517/pic/1445845171/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc>

      David
      Idaho


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • trenthillsmike
      Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding
      Message 112 of 112 , Jun 16, 2013
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        Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding the plants. We've been adding plants that mine minerals (lambsquarter, pigweed, yarrow, stinging nettle, red clover, Dutch white clover, etc), attract pollinators all through the growing season, attract predatory insects, confuse pests. Our preference is for perennials or self-seeding annuals and biennials. And we've stopped mowing the orchard although I do selective scything to suppress plants that we don't want. We're very early in the process but we can see some results - https://picasaweb.google.com/PortagePerennials/HolisticOrchard#5888913239729330466

        Regards,
        Mike

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
        >
        > Adding 6 inch mulch layer around young trees to make them survive summer is an interesting thing. Planning to try this for the mango trees. Last summer was very severe and lost some of the trees. 
        >
        >
        > Regards,
        > Nandan
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