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Need mulch suggestions

 
Daphne Singingtree
Posts: 41
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I am looking for mulch suggestions, I do not produce enough grass clippings, trying to phase out the lawn. I used straw last year and found way too much grass/hay growing in it. Maybe I am getting the wrong kind, if I get straw (not hay) from the feed store, is that right or do I need to do something special? I loved coconut husks but it is expensive and considering how far away it comes, not sustainable. I am expanding my beds and do sheet composting with cardboard and mulch. Can I use straight coffee grounds or does it need to be composted first? The coffee stands give grounds away and I can get a lot for free, but I am looking for other ideas.
 
Tristan Vitali
Posts: 307
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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my understanding is that straw should be mostly seed-free...hay is usually the one that causes problems with seeds

on the coffee grounds, yes...very rich in nitrogen and I think phosphorous.. you don't need to compost them before - just compost in place to promote healthy living soil

basically, if you have to ask if you can, you should... if you have to ask if you should, why bother
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Straw does have seeds but not as bad as hay. If it's bermuda straw, you don't want that! If it's wheat straw, the sprouts are no big deal. Also, beware of persistent herbicides on straw (and in horse/cow manure).

You can definitely use coffee grounds straight.

Shredded leaves work,too, but you don't want to overdue them if you are lasagne gardening. Some vermicompost is great to add. Also available in this area is cotton gin compost and mushroom compost -- both are good organic matter but have their downside, mostly that both cotton and mushrooms are heavily treated with chemical while growing.
 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 706
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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straw can be weedy if the oat, wheat, rye field has weeds growing in it. they get cut the same time as the grain and end up baled with the straw
I've bought "clean straw" from the feed store that was full of weeds and thistles


leaves, grass clippings, weedy plants like goldenrod, ragweed, thistle (before they go to seed), deadheaded flowers and stems, twigs, tree and shrub prunings , green grocer waste , spoiled fruit and vegetables can all be added to your beds

ask friends and neighbors to save, for you to pick up, any unwanted material
check with local groceries about their waste

 
Kenny Garcia
Posts: 85
Location: Southern California
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I use paper that i got from my work and i have a shredder that i bought for about twenty bucks. I shred a little bit of paper everyday. I put that shredded paper over my garden and threw some dirt on top to keep it from blowing away.

Also a good way from keeping that paper from going to the landfill.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I have read that coffee grounds should not be just dumped on the surface, because "they cause mold to grow".
I live in rainy Seattle, and dump a coffee pot's worth in the bed just outside the door every morning, and have never seen mold. The grounds do break down more slowly on the surface than they would if buried, but that is probably because they don't have any greens with them.

Earthworms LOVE a pile of coffee grounds.

 
Shawn Harper
Posts: 360
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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You can grow some types of mushrooms on coffee grounds and get an extra harvest.
 
jack sweeney
Posts: 29
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My favourite mulch is what i call carbon mix, carbon mix is made from 3 parts shredded straw, 3 parts shredded autumn leaves, 3 parts shredded cardboard, 2 parts sawdust, 1 part powdered charcoal, mix it all together and you get carbon mix! but if i had a good cheap supply of coffee grounds i would throw that into the mix as well.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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Grow your own mulch with high biomass plants like amaranth, sweet potato, comfrey, etc... Chop and drop.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5616
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Kenny Garcia wrote:I use paper that i got from my work and i have a shredder that i bought for about twenty bucks. I shred a little bit of paper everyday. I put that shredded paper over my garden and threw some dirt on top to keep it from blowing away.

Also a good way from keeping that paper from going to the landfill.


Most areas have recycling centers that take all kinds of paper...glossy, magazines, newspaper and even colored office paper and books. I avoid any colored papers or cardboard in my soil because even though some inks are now soy the pigments used for the color can contain toxins....and when using cardboard I avoid waxed (petroleum derived) and boxes treated with fungicides. Most offices, banks even shred their paper and send to a recycling center to be baled. A lot of grocery stores here have their own bailers now for cardboard because the resale value is worth it.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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