used straw for mulch, should i leave it or take it up?

Used straw for mulch in vegetable garden (15 bales) worked real well, now garden is finished, should I leave it to hopefully break down over winter, then deal with what is left in spring? Was thinking to pick up some manure and spread over garden. Would I have to remove straw to do that. TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Why did you spread straw? Straw doesn't make very good mulch, it certainly won't keep weeds from sprouting, it will encourage weeds. Folks spread straw on newly seeded areas to help keep birds from getting to the seed. Folks also place straw at the base of plants to help keep rain from splashing mud to the undersides of leaves, keeps mold and mildew from forming... also good under tomato plants for those who don't stake or cage, gives the fruit a dry clean resting place. But spreading 15 bales of straw on bare ground over winter is purely an exercise is sillyness. 15 bales is a lot of hay, no point in picking it up, instead put it to some use, till it in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

What is to deal with? Just let it rot and improve the soil.
Was thinking to

Why pick it up? Put manure over the top. Let it all rot together.
D
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Put down manure, and then cover with new straw to avoid NH3 from escaping.
<http://www.composting101.com/c-n-ratio.html Scientists (yes, there are compost scientists) have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile.
This is true for mulching as well.
Good luck.
--
- Billy

E pluribus unum
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why did you spread straw? Spread Straw early Summer to use as a mulch arround vegetables.
Straw doesn't make very good mulch, it certainly won't keep weeds from sprouting, it will encourage weeds. My experience was the opposite..........it worked well keeping weed from growing - I used the straw mostly arround tomatoes and peppers, the soil stayed damp and the weeds did not grow.
I'm open to sugestions, I chose the straw because it was cheap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Straw is OK as mulch and it does inhibit weeds if applied correctly. It may (or may not) produce some of its own. Straw is the stems of harvested cereal crops. Harvesting equipment is pretty efficient at extracting the grain and not leaving any in the straw but you might just get some oats or whatever. More likely is if the straw has been used as animal bedding you could get some seeds in it from their feed. But you would also get some urine and feces which are useful so you pays your money and takes your choice. If you know the origin or can tell by inspection this ought not to be a problem. If in doubt you can damp and turn a sample for a week or two to see if anything sprouts. By now you know if this is an issue with the straw you got (apparently not) so the matter is somewhat academic.
I am all for using what is cheap and readily available in your area rather than what may be good across the world. If you are not planting anything over winter just leave it. Add your manure and fork a little before you plant in spring. You will need to mulch again after that but that's how it goes, organic mulch breaks down and has to be replaced.
D
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
By now you know if this is an issue with the

I think just about everything that can usefully be said about straw has appeared already but I'll add a bit more based on my experiences with straw. Straw tends to have a tendency to be recalcitrant when new - it's almost like it doesnt' want to cooperate and start rotting going back to the earth. So, if I spread it from a new bail, I spread it thinly for a while till it starts to cooperate. Because of this, I tend to buy bales of straw and pre-rot them by dropping them on the gorund and then turning them every few weeks to present a new face to the soil. By the time I break them up into biscuits of straw, they are starting to go dark brown and are full of worms, microbes and other good loking bits of biota.
I am a fan of straw and any other form of cheap mulch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/6/11 9:35 AM, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

The straw is unlikely to break down during cold weather.
Spread the manure on top of the straw. Then till both into the top foot of the soil. The combination will form a rich compost.
You might have to add more nitrogen during the first growing season because the composting process absorbs nitrogen. However, you will have significantly improved your soil, especially if you repeat this each year. In later years, the compost will begin to release nitrogen; and you won't have to keep adding more than what the manure supplies.
In my flower and shrub beds, I use leaves as a mulch instead of straw. I have to keep adding leaves because they turn to compost. Mulching keeps the soil cool and moist in the summer.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

if you want it to break down faster bury it along with the manure. putting manure on the surface and leaving it all winter is asking for it to be blown or washed away, so plan on turning it in and you will have a happy garden next spring/summer.
a little of the straw, kept in reserve would make a nice light covering for the winter to keep the soil from blowing around. after turning in most of the straw and manure, spread it thin and then water it all if you don't have much rain coming soon. this will get it all going.
when handling the straw, wear heavy gloves and sleeves that won't let the straw poke through. will save your arms from sores and possible infections.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org;941190 Wrote: > Used straw for mulch in vegetable garden (15 bales) worked real well, > now

> winter,

> manure

With straw, you might encounter with beasts like slugs and rodents. They just love the straw and feel it a wonderful place to live, hidden under the snow, nice and warm and dry inside the straw. So its better to remove straw for the better gardening.
--
allen73


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
allen73 wrote:

There has to be a better way to avoid encouraging unwanted critters than taking your mulch up and down like a lavatory seat. You must have a very small plot or a lot of time on your hands.
D
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Nov 6, 12:35pm, snipped-for-privacy@theShire.org wrote:

Pile the straw , add a bit of manure, and moisten it well. You will have a fine compost to improve the tilth of your garden.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.