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Mulching in a Greenhouse_how thick?  RSS feed

 
Jason Vath
Posts: 158
Location: Hardiness Zone 5
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I was wondering how much if any mulch(straw) should be used in a greenhouse.
My friend is tired of constantly watering the beds as they dry out fast.
I advised she uses mulch to retain moisture, slow down evaporation & just protect the soil in general.

I know it's commonly mentioned for 'outdoor' gardens, that 6-8 inches of mulch is a good thing.
Does this rule of thumb change when inside of a greenhouse? Will mulch in a greenhouse cause mold problems for example?
the greenhouse is properly set up for venting & heat regulation.

I want to make sure I didn't advise her wrong in terms of using mulch.

Location:
Northwestern PA
hardiness zone 5


 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 262
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I'll advise you on the basis of our experience in our greenhouse, rather than a broad overview of many different greenhouse situations.  Our G.H. is an organic & fairly deep-soil situation, with a soaker hose irrigation system that we rely on for the most part.

We've used  clipped grass mostly - green grass, clipped (e.g., by scythe, weedwhacker, lawn mower) while not too long and before viable seeds have matured in it.  We've put on a layer of maybe an inch thick.  You're right to be concerned about mold, I think - but in our experience keeping the mulch about and inch or a bit more away from the shoots or stems emerging up from the soil is enough.  Molds seem to take hold on main stems just above soil level.  So it's been fine to have the mulch above the roots.  When the grass has gone yellowish or brownish and begun to decay into the topmost soil layer, we add some more grass to keep the layer about an inch thick.

This retains moisture partly by absorbing water, partly by shading the soil from direct sunlight, and partly by protecting the soil from warm air currents in the greenhouse.  It nourishes the soil with natural bacteria.

Works for us in our specific locale and greenhouse.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2611
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I don't like breathing molds, bacteria, or rotting fumes. Therefore I tend to avoid adding things like compost and mulch to my greenhouse where the air is confined.
 
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