Straw for Mulch

 

Photo credit: Amber Burst

Using Straw for Mulch in the Garden

by Rachel

If you are starting out in backyard gardening like I am, you may find it difficult to figure out what kinds of materials you need and where to get them.  I know I have.

To this point, all of my raised bed gardens have been bare dirt.  I know this isn’t optimal; I have read up on all the garden blogs that say you desperately need to mulch your gardens for the following reasons:

  • Mulch keeps the soil temperature more even (warmer in winter months and cooler in summer months)
  • Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil
  • Mulch keeps weeds from being able to germinate
  • Mulch adds nutrients back into the soil as it decomposesView 20+ Styles of Raised Garden Beds - Eartheasy.com

But I was faced with the challenge of what to use for mulch. All of the mulch I see in stores is meant to put around landscaping, not raised vegetable beds.  A search online yielded tons of blog posts singing the praises of grass clippings and dried leaves. But you see, I live in an area that is going through a severe drought.  I don’t have a lawn to be able to use grass clippings.  I don’t have that many trees to be able to use dead leaves.  The trees I do have are Eucalyptus and Peppercorn, neither of which would be good for use in a garden.  So it seems my best, most responsible option is to use straw.

Read the full article: Amber Burst

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.