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Growing organic and using burlap or Jute netting  RSS feed

 
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So I am trying a hugelkultur bed for my vegetables, I practice organic growing and recently purchased a roll of jute netting for erosion control/soil structure in the bed. The thing is the jute netting smells like creosote (Telephone poles) as do hardware store burlap products, obviously I wouldn't want to plant edibles in soil with chemically treated fabrics.

However am I even correct that it is creosote treated? Or might the smell be the burlap? Any info or experience would be appreciated as I can't wait to get this bed finished!!
 
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Burlap can be treated to retard decay.
I am not sure how you would tell if it was not stated on where you purchase.
I tend to use alot of coffee bags myself.
I use them instead of ground fabric for long term landscape since they stop weeds, allow water to flow, but best of all they rot over time so they do not choke roots or trunks over time.
I put them down and cover with mulch.
 
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This is not totally relevant, but a couple of years ago I thought it would be clever to dispose of our worn out jute mats by jumbling them in the bottom of a newly emptied chamber of our composting toilet. After one year of use by a couple dozen people, and then one year standing unused for composting time, everything else was indistinguishable compost, except at the bottom were those damn jute mats, black, soaked, and still so tough you couldn't pull them out from under. So we threw them back in the bottom of the newly emptied chamber, and it hasn't gotten back to emptying point yet so I don't know if four years will be enough.
 
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Online Fabric Store carries a selection of Jute burlap. They label the fabric if it is hydrocarbon free.


https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/natural-burlap-fabric-.htm

This is hydrocarbon free but many of the others have been treated.

Here are their untreated tarps.

https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/HSearchResult.aspx?keyword=untreated%20burlap

 
Matthew Alger
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+alex Keenan -Thank you for the advice that would be perfect my household is so full of coffee fiends I have been separating the filters from the compost as there are so many. I'll have to experiment with this!

+Rebecca Norman -Interesting now I assume your speaking on the floor mats for entry ways? If so I could see those having a lot of glues and other chemicals for preservation -although I am surprised anything could survive such thorough composting at all.

+Kate Muller -Thank you for the resource!! I purchased mine form a local organic garden store though no treatment specification was listed, upon talking with the employees today I was assured it likely wasn't chemically treated as the manufacturer stated that "Most commonly mineral oil is used" during production. However I still am a bit wary.

Thank you all for your replies! I'm beginning to really like this forum.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Matthew Alger wrote:
+Rebecca Norman -Interesting now I assume your speaking on the floor mats for entry ways? If so I could see those having a lot of glues and other chemicals for preservation -although I am surprised anything could survive such thorough composting at all.



I live in India, so jute is a super common material. These were 4 foot wide, very long floor mats, not lined with plastic or anything, just plain. But dyed various colors, and after the composting fiasco with them, I suspect they may have had some kind of preservative or something. Though they still wear out and get shredded pretty quickly!
 
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Jute behaves close to coconut choir in disintegration, it takes quite a while. When O2 is removed, or limited it can take more than 100 years for coconut choir to deteriorate. Jute, when treated with petrochemicals, tends to darken in color. If you suspect this stuff to be contaminated with petrochemicals, get some Toluene or Pet Ether and soak a chunk in it, if the solvent shows any black then you know petrochemicals are present.
 
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Coffee sacks are food grade and biodegradable. And you can most likely find them for free from a savvy local shop. Edit: sorry I didn't see Alex ' s post recommending coffee sacks. But while I am at it. I've used coffee bags filled with soil, cut holes and planted directly in them. Hung them up like the Comercial 'Topsy tuvry' bags.
 
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