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wool mulch

 
                    
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any one used wool as mulch? price does not even cover shipping now so have a lot of wool to dispose of!  wont burn it and it takes forever to rot in the compost piles!
 
Leah Sattler
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wow! thats one I hadn't heard! I bet it would mat down good and be a great weed barrier, I would give it a shot for sure it might be a good thing that it takes a little longer to break down in some situations.

the price of wool has dropped?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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A former hairdresser of mine recommended hair trimmings around plants as a slug barrier. It works. Slugs are a huge problem here in the NW, and it's often wet/damp enough to keep the hair from blowing away.

I wonder if wool could work similarly to ward off slugs and snails. Again, you'd have to have a way to make sure it doesn't blow away....
 
                    
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Leah Sattler wrote:
wow! thats one I hadn't heard! I bet it would mat down good and be a great weed barrier, I would give it a shot for sure it might be a good thing that it takes a little longer to break down in some situations.

the price of wool has dropped?


we have meet breed sheep, never much demand and have a ways to travel!fuel and my time have made selling sheep wool a low priority! main market was china and they aint buying much of anything! were it has dropped in the fields it has killed out what ever was under so i was thinking that for long term area mulch it would work well!
 
Leah Sattler
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I used to gather up the gobs of hair that one of my dogs shed out and stick it in the garden. the birds seem to carry most of it off.

what breed of sheep to you have? I have considered getting some sheep just for pasture rotation since they supposedly like graze more than goats but I never worked out the copper issue.  not well informed about them yet but what little research I have done turned up that I probably wanted hair sheep. of course daughter wants 'baby doll' sheep. which appear useless to me. 
 
Gwen Lynn
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For years, a hair dresser friend of mine would say that her father would ask for all hair clippings to put in his garden. His theory was that human hair benefitted the garden nutritionally & keep critters away. A speedy google confirmed this thinking, but the info regarding nutrional value is conflicting. I would think if human hair is beneficial, so should wool, but maybe not in all the same ways.

Here's a link:

http://www.greendaily.com/2009/01/19/try-some-hair-in-the-garden/
 
Susan Monroe
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Another site indicates that it might have more value (as a source of nitrogen) in the compost pile.  It does take a while to start breaking down.
http://webecoist.com/2009/04/16/22-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-compost/

Sue
 
paul wheaton
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I would be comfortable putting my hair in the garden.  But to get the hair from some place in town ...  I would be too worried about all of the different products used on that hair.
 
Leah Sattler
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so with this thread in mind and a bunch of itchy not quite fully shed, rangy looking goats..... and the fact that I turned over some make shift weed barriers near my garden and found zillions of slugs that are probably just waiting for my strawberries to arrive............I clipped one I started to clip the others but most of them are white and I would have to keep them in the shade a few days to let them grow out some to prevent sunburn through the reamining hair (all I have is a #10 blade) and I dont' have the facilities to to that so most of the others have been spared the embarrassment. but heck. why not? they would just be shedding that hair to be lost to the wind otherwise. and patch looks like a beautiful show goat now! except for her mangled udder. the other goats didn't reckognize her and chased her around the pasture afterwards.    all the hair is waiting to packed around my strawberry plants!
 
Brenda Groth
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i actually believe that I have read about using wool in some of my books somewhere..pretty much anything organic should be workable..and if it kills stuff..the more the merrier..i know they say you can compost natural material "rags" so why not the raw material from them.
 
                              
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"If it were me" first I'd make a mattress pad with the wool, make it into batting. Make a case, stuff it with (washed) and carded wool, then sew buttons down all over to keep it in place. Or you could use it for a futon kind of floor thing for guests.

I saw in a magazine people selling giant pumpkin sized "rocks" made of felted wool for like a 1000 bucks....

But I think wool would work as a mulch. Though I'd rather spin it or use it for stuffing/batting first.  Or you could felt big slabs of it and use it for insulation.

I have two grocery bags of raw cotton from cutting up a futon (I made a twin mattress adn a dog bed from a scrounged--clean, just ripped--futon). I was thinking about using it as mulch too. It's full of seeds, but cotton doesn't grow here(it it could sprout but it would be sickly). Anybody know what nutrients are in raw cotton? If there's anything good/significant I'll use it to amend.
 
Anna Spangle
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yeah, I have some wool in my garden too. It is supposed to be a great fertilizer. It does not break down especially quickly, neither does it weed block very well, so its kind of an oddity, and looks bad, too.
  I am using excess wool to make mattress pads and dog beds. You can use old duvet covers or pillow cases from a thrift store and not do much finishing or sewing. Just put a few tufts of yarn through it every few inches to hold the wool in place.
 
paul wheaton
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Maybe the best thing to do is to save it.  Set it aside.  Maybe some day you will have enough set aside that you can do something big with it that you can't do with other mulchy material.  Make a mattress, or insulate your roof.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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wyldthang wrote:Anybody know what nutrients are in raw cotton? If there's anything good/significant I'll use it to amend.


Cotton fibers are used by chemists as a nearly pure source of cellulose (e.g., "guncotton).

Cottonseed, on the other hand, is very rich in protein.  Dairies in my home town use it as feed.  I've read that replacing half the wheat in bread dough with cottonseed meal would mean a typical fast-food hamburger would have more protein in the bun than in the patty.

If you want to use it in soil, you might make a potting mix with just cotton and compost.  I guess heating the cotton first to sterilize the seeds would make sense, in that case.

swamp donk wrote:
any one used wool as mulch? price does not even cover shipping now so have a lot of wool to dispose of! wont burn it and it takes forever to rot in the compost piles!


I bet wool would make very good potting mix, with some leaf mold.  It will stay fibrous and absorbent for a long time, and will gradually release N as the plant ages, rather than gradually taking it away.  This study says it's good for the soil overall, but discourages some (but not all) mycorrhiza.

http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/34/6/2310

For the trivia-minded: the Trabant's body panels were made of wool-reinforced polymer composite when wool prices were low.
 
suomi--Nicola Lloyd
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Hi,  we have used sheep fleece as as "mulch",  it looked kind of interesting at first as we had both brown and white so we played with making rough patterns!
it was pretty thick but the weeds still managed to make their way through!  however it did slow them down and Im sure in time as it breaks down its good for the soil !
suomi.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I was reading The Self Sustaining Garden, by Peter Thompson, and it mentioned wool on a short list of mulch materials.  The author and publisher are in the UK, where I imagine there is an overabundance of wool; I guess it's sort of like Americans spreading soybean meal on their gardens.

It's an interesting book, viz. permaculture.  It focuses on the design of guilds, without ever using that word.  What a permaculturist would call establishing a guild, it terms "matrix planting".

It also focuses almost exclusively on ornamental plants, and seems to take for granted the idea that no-till methods are not for the kitchen garden.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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My grandmother, who was born in 1913, says that her family, and the other families in their area, used to keep a few sheep just for making quilt battings.  Evidently nobody spun the wool or used it in any other way.

For compost, the best part would be the tags and stuff that's full of manure anyway, although meat sheep, with their shorter wool, might not have as much of a problem as the longer-wooled breeds.

Kathleen
 
                          
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I think its the lanolin in fresh wool that slows down breakdown, sort of the sheeps natural water proofing,

personaly i would seek out craft shops and or groups to sell or give to rather than use as mulch or compost, all that wool could be spun knitted and keep someone warm, be it a loved one or a homeless person.
 
charles c. johnson
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use it for home insulation
 
                            
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Yes, as said above, use it as insulation. Wool is the highest cost insulation I know off! Way more expensive than any plastic. You've got a new business on your hands buddy.

And takes longer to degrade in your garden than plastic too! You said it yourself: if it doesn't compost, it will just accumulate in the open garden.

Wool is one of the most durably valuable products of any kind -- add some value dude!

Make us some socks already!

 
charles c. johnson
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cheapest raw wool i found was 5$/lb i assume it very poor,or dirty
 
paul wheaton
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If you have 40 sheep and nobody seems to want to buy your wool, then insulating your home with it seems like a pretty good idea.
 
samiam kephart
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Emilia Hazelip mentions using wool as a mulch
 
                                  
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Location: central kansas
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We used the tags and the belly wool for mulching our tomato plants.  We kept it fairly thick and very few weeds came up.  In the fall we pulled the plants and just rolled up the wool. We got two seasons out of it before it all broke down
 
rose macaskie
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ihave just been reading the spainish gardening book i have that seems most permacultury, to tell Quranista about as she maybe its a he wants a spainish permaculture book list.
    The book is written by Charlie Ryrie called the sabiduria del jardinero the wisdom of the gardener, a rough transalation. I have looked him up and he has written lots of books on gaie and permaculture type things. I did not find a biography on him.
      This book does bennies and companion planting, plant guilds, mulching and medieval ideas on gardening, how to make curing oils, and such and it mentions putting wool into the soil to lighten it up and in the end feed the soil, wool is protein thats why biological powders are bad for it, they have protein dissolving ingredients to deal with protein stains gravy and blood . This is what i learnt from biology classes forty years ago, i was lucky enough to have a good teacher in biology. 

  If you have a lot of land you could have a slow compost heap of old clothes and furniture. I have one, it annoys other people but i have it, the idea came from a good gaie gardening book i lent to others, maybe it was also written buy Charlie Ryrie, I did not memorise the name of the writer, i did not realise that gardening book writers are normally famouse gardeners or orgfanics people or something of the sort.  The book  also suggested having a small wood to provide wood for the house if you are not a clean energy fiend or if you have a rocket or masonary stove that burns clean.
   
    You could make felt out of it, that must be the easiest thing to make, you just have to shrink  it up I imagine.
      It is  a good idea using it as aislation in the house  i am always wondering adout natural aislation materials cork is the one i think of. Make felt and die it and have patches of colour hanging on the wall or make a tibetan mongolian tent and boycot chinese shops, they are all over the world, if everyone did it we could stop them torturing and giving forced abortions and sterilising without anesthetics tibetan women, and pushing all tibetans into the worse jobs . agri rose macaskie.
 
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