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mulch and timing in annual veg plot?  RSS feed

 
Anna Tennis
Posts: 49
Location: western slope of Oregon Cascades/Portland, OR
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I just planted early spring stuff (peas, radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, lettuce, spinach) in a sort of broadcasted manner over part of my bed (not the peas - I was more deliberate with those). There's a light mulch of straw down which I halfheartedly moved aside where I thought seeds might have fallen. So essentially there's still a light mulch of straw down. What I'm wondering is, have I doomed my seeds from the beginning? Should there be no mulch down at all when it's seed-planting time if I'm not doing neat little rows where I can clearly part the mulch and expose the soil? Or is it likely they'll do just fine? Yes, I'm going to do a bit of neat rows as a control, and yes, I could just wait and see how it goes, but if I've just broken a really basic rule of mulching annual vegetables I'd rather know ahead of time and give all the seeds a good chance to make it. Thanks!
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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In my experience many if not most seeds do better coming up from under a light mulch (thin loose straw being a perfect example) It creates an awesome mirco climate for the. Watch it, because you should always been observing, but I wouldn't be worried at all. Just make sure its thin enough that some light can get through. You can mulch again more heavily if you want once things are 5 or 6 inches out of the ground with some solid true leaves.
 
Anna Tennis
Posts: 49
Location: western slope of Oregon Cascades/Portland, OR
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Thanks, Landon! Guess tomorrow I'll be thinning the straw layer everywhere I want to plant and piling the extra where I'm going to plant later, at which point I'll shove it back around the seedlings.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2286
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I totally agree with Landon on this one.
 
Anna Tennis
Posts: 49
Location: western slope of Oregon Cascades/Portland, OR
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Excellent. I'm thinking to throw a few kitchen scraps under the deeper mulch where I haven't planted yet. Never tried that before.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Anna, did I read correctly that you broadcast seed onto the mulch? Rather than put light mulch on after broadcasting seeds?
I think the sequence matters and try to get my seeds in contact with the soil, so first broadcast the seeds and then broadcast a light mulch is my preference.
 
Anna Tennis
Posts: 49
Location: western slope of Oregon Cascades/Portland, OR
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Good question. Straw mulch was already down but I mostly moved it aside before sowing, and also gave any remaining straw a little shake to make sure seeds fell down to touch the soil. Then I put a light covering of straw back over.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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