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mulching raspberries with moldy hay?

 
Lisa Geary
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It seems like it's usually okay to use moldy hay as mulch- is it okay to use it to mulch new raspberry plants?
 
Crt Jakhel
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Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Did that myself 2 weeks ago with young plug plants and they seem fine and growing. Watch out for snails though... Everybody has their own approach about that, just be aware that they will probably enjoy the situation. Also, if this is really hay, meadow hay, not just grass clippings, you might be surprised by the seeds germinating.

Sawdust can be a good idea for raspberries (and other acid loving plants). Composted is best. If fresh, add nitrogen. Here's some reading - http://us.naturespath.com/blog/2009/07/10/sawdust-my-slave

Oh and... Whatever you use for mulch, this is good advice: http://www.permies.com/t/56517/plants/Sharing-tips-growing-Raspberries
 
Lisa Geary
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Thanks for the article, and I'm glad you mentioned saw dust! I happen to have a very large pile of it from poplars that were logged this spring on our farm, and it was one of the things I was contemplating using for mulch! I also have some composted poultry manure that I'll put down first (been meaning to get to that anyway!)

I suspect there is mold in my sawdust, because it is a very large pile of fresh sawdust, but it sounds like that will be okay, too.
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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buy a couple packs of elm oyster inoculated wood dowels and bury them in your sawdust. in 3-4 months you will have delicious elm oysters coming up under your raspberries! they also help break down the mulch into beautiful black compost! i also use wine cap mycelium from my mushroom beds . all you got to do to keep them coming up is top dress with fresh sawdust every spring. they really like poplar sawdust but they will grow on any hardwood sawdust or straw. the mycelium will eat any seeds in it preventing them from germinating. instead of 1 crop you get 2!
 
steve bossie
Posts: 260
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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and sawdust is better than straw for munching because the surface will dry out in between rains and the slugs don't like to cross dry sawdust. straw remains wet and slimy so the slugs use it as a highway to get to your plants! id compost the straw instead or put a layer of sawdust over the straw.
 
Lisa Geary
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That's awesome Steve! I'm totally interested in doing that! I didn't see your post til now... thanks so much!
 
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