Saturday, April 14, 2012

Straw Mulch In The Landscape

I have recently gotten several emails about mulching my flowerbeds with straw mulch. This is a new practice for me that I started last fall. I originally started with the two flower beds out by the clothes lines and was so pleased that I added straw mulch to my main flower beds by the main entrances. 

These beds are bordered by native stone that we have collected during our years of living on this land. One thing this land grows well is stone. It comes up every spring and we dig it and try to keep it removed from our lawns that we mow and gardens. This helps spare our tiller and lawn mower blades. So what do you do with all that rock? Make flowerbeds. What could be more appropriate than native stone,  the land always provides. 

Yes, like everyone else, I used to go out and purchase bags of bark mulch from the big box store. Then one day I decided that straw will work just as well and I preferred to give that business to the local wheat farmer instead. This is the farmer that also cuts my hay. This is the farmer that gives me loads of cow manure for my compost bins every year. I take newspaper that we save throughout the year and lay it on the ground beneath my straw to provide a weed barrier and feed the worms.  I also get cardboard boxes free from the small hardware store in town that we frequent.

Then I take straw that has been busted and spent several weeks on the ground in my chicken yard. The ladies happily scratch and peck through it removing any seeds or bugs. 
Then I place it over the newspapers which have been wet with the hose.  I have to say what few weeds do make it through this just slide right out of that mulch. The soil beneath it is just teeming with worms and is moist and fluffy. I worried about voles but thus far I have seen none. 

I have the healthiest population of garter snakes I have ever seen.

And toads!

And it just seems like straw is more appropriate since after all I do live in a barn. 

And if you're really lucky you might even find a corn cob or two that the girls threw in for free.

 We call that ambiance !

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Thanks so much for all the mulch info, CQ!
    Have a wonderful Sunday! :o)

  2. Love the "ambiance" attitude. And what a capture of that garter snake starting his feast.

  3. I had to laugh at the last comment about the corn cobs. This morning, I was spreading more hay from the chicken coop on my raised beds and lo and behold, a few corn cobs!!!

    1. Now you know you felt "special" : ) Those chickens put those in there just for you....


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