Re: [fukuoka_farming] Hay vs Straw
- Straw is as useless for feeding the soil as it is for feeding livestock. Why? No nitrogen and near nothing of much else but carbon. It will actually tie up nitrogen already in the soil contrary to long held opinion. Yes, hay will have lots of grain seeds, and perhaps weed species too, but just as with livestock feeding that's where the value is. I use grass clippings but if I were to buy mulch by the bale I'd use alfalfa hay. Alfalfa is cut before it seeds and is usually pretty free of weed seed.
nitrogen is produced for the soil by bacterias also, so straw is not so useless because it is still food for many microorganisms so will favorise fixing of atmospheric nitrogen .the concept of " tied up of nitrogen" have to be undertood as a temporary process , it will cycle along the food chain many times being tied up then release for other forms of life .
diversity in mulch is a must each plant bringing its own mineral make up .
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