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Where To Buy Straw Mulch

A good farmer respects the land and the soil, and so it is with Blue Mountain Hay. Our Pacific Northwest farming partners maintain high standards of environmental stewardship and sustainable farming techniques. Generation after generation of high-altitude cultivation has produced top-notch hay and straw. Because everything comes from the soil at some point, taking care of it is a top priority!

where to buy straw mulch

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There are all kinds of straw products out there for gardens and pets. Then there's fresh garden and bedding straw. There are all kinds of pet food products out there. Then there's tasty, nutritious pet food. We don't believe in typical products. We believe in real, healthy, genuine products.

Straw is a byproduct of barley, oats, rice, rye, and wheat. They might not all be available in your area, but most garden centers will have one that will work for you. You can use it in a regular tilled garden, in no-dig gardens, or anywhere you may need extra moisture and protection for your plants.

If you are specifically looking for an organically grown straw you should begin shopping early and be prepared to pay a premium for what you find. Organic straw is going to be more likely to contain seeds than straw grown with the use of chemicals but the number of seeds should not cause any issues within your garden area.

The first key to using straw as mulch is in finding the right types of straw garden mulch. Some straw mulches may be mixed with hay, which can weed seeds that can sprout in your garden rows. Look for a supplier that sells guaranteed weed-free straw.

While straw is a byproduct of grain crops, hay is a grass grown primarily as feed for livestock. It is often made from a combination of plants, and it is rarely cut before at least some of it has gone to seed.

One easy way to do this is to spread a layer of nitrogen-rich material around the bed prior to laying down straw. Compost, aged manure, or fresh grass clippings are all great sources of nitrogen.

Next, set the bale at the edge of a garden bed and cut the rope to open it up. Bales are made up of tightly packed layers of straw. Remove layers one at a time, and use your hands to fluff them up a bit.

You can choose to either remove it before planting and throw it in the compost, or you can simply push it to the side until you are ready to mulch again and then reuse it, adding a bit of fresh material on top.

This barley straw is not certified organic but comes from a local farm. There isn't a need to spray for pests and most of the local farms use chicken manure as the cheapest means to fertilize etc. There will be some foreign dried plant material as there always is with any straw bales.

1 Cubic Foot of straw doesn't weigh much but will easily mulch 6-12 plants depending on the depth of mulch and the size of the container. The straw is compressed when baled and we do not fluff it up before packaging. So 1 bag will hold more than you think.

Free Bonus - This barley straw will have seeds in it still and you will have volunteer "Living Barley Mulch" in your containers. This living barley will move moisture around in your soil container and provide additional root exudates to feed the microlife.

Straw is usually a by-product of small grain production. After the grains (oats, barley, wheat, rye, triticale, spelt) are harvested, growers may harvest the residual plant material from the grains as straw. Straw is often desired as a mulch (as opposed to hay) as it usually contains few weed seeds, has wide leaves and hollow stems to provide a good insulating and weed suppressing mulch. Oat straw is usually the most desirable as it has some of the widest leaves and dries to a nice golden color. When buying straw, you should be aware that some of the grain may come in the bale and germinate when you use it as mulch.

Since a large amount of straw now comes from either Aroostook County or Canada, many growers consider buying in bulk and splitting a tractor trailer load of straw with numerous other growers as a means to reduce cost.

Amturf Ultra Nu-Straw is a twice-cut, processed straw mulch that provides erosion protection on slopes, heavy washout, and windy areas. Ideal straw for seeding, it includes a bonding agent that gives straw a tackiness which holds it together and protects seed from erosion and birds. Speeds up germination and holds water to reduce water evaporation. Safe for pets and children. Does not contain grass seed.

Mulch materials include straw, hay, wood, aggregate, and one combination of straw and hydraulic mulch (Type 4). Other than Type 4, these mulches are not hydraulically applied. Hydraulic mulches and tackifiers are defined in MnDOT Spec 3884 and are explained on the hydraulic mulches and tackifiers web page. Requirements for the use of all types of mulches are found in MnDOT Spec 2575.

Also called Certified Weed Free Mulch, Type 3 mulch is the most commonly specified type of straw mulch on MnDOT projects. It is the straw mulch with the most stringent quality assurance to help prevent the spread of noxious weeds. There is no approved products list for Type 3 mulch but it must be certified by the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA). This certification is indicated by a MCIA-issued tag that must be attached to each bale before it leaves the production field. For more information on certified weed free mulch visit the MCIA Certification Services web page. For help finding certified weed free mulch visit the MCIA Where to Buy web page.

Type 4 is a combination of straw mulch (either Type 1 or Type 3) and Stabilized Fiber Matrix, a type of Hydraulic Mulch. The straw component of Type 4 mulch does not have an approved products list but the Stabilized Fiber Matrix component must be on the Hydraulic Erosion Control Approved Products List.

Wood mulches do not have an approved products list but they are subject to visual inspection by the inspector. Wood mulches are also subject to quarantine requirements regarding invasive forest pests such as the emerald ash borer. More information can be found in Spec 3882 and by contacting the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

This consists of waste wood obtained from clearing on the construction project and must be processed in a chipper, hammermill, or tub grinder. It has many erosion and sediment control uses on construction projects. It is more coarsely ground and may contain larger pieces than Type 6 mulch.

Type 6 mulch is similar to Type 5 but is more finely ground, with a smaller maximum piece size. It is typically used for landscaping projects in keeping with MnDOT Spec 2571. The contractor must submit a Certificate of Compliance from the manufacturer stating that the product meets the requirements of Spec 3882.

There is no approved products list for most of the mulch materials described on this page, with the exception of the Stabilized Fiber Matrix component of Type 4 Mulch. Some of the products require Certificates of Compliance or other forms of certification. Read the description of the product in question for more information.

But perhaps best of all, mulch stops weeds and the seemingly endless chore of weeding. When applied thick enough, it suppresses and kills existing weeds. And that same layer of mulch can also keep new weed seeds from finding a home in the soil below.

For all of those reasons and more, being able to have plenty of mulch on hand is truly essential. But with each passing year, finding it at a reasonable price has become difficult. Especially when you are looking for organic options to keep harmful chemical residue out of your garden.

A few years back, we decided to trial a little experiment at our farm. Instead of purchasing straw or finely shredded bark to mulch around our vegetable plants, we decided to instead grow our own mulch.

We then took the cuttings and used them in place of straw to mulch around our plants. When first cut and green, both annual rye and oats act just like green grass clippings. That means they actually contain a fair amount of nutrients that can leach into the soil around the plants.

Those nutrients, of course, help to power our vegetable plants. But even more, as the cuttings dry out, they stay in place to act as an incredible organic mulch. One that as it breaks down, also continues to feed and add even more nutrients to the soil.

It is a win-win all the way around. And one made even better by the fact that these grain crops come back and can be mowed several times for more and more mulch. And the cost vs. straw? Well, as you will see below, it might be the best thing of all!

Unlike planting these two grains in the fall as a cover crop, when using as our mulch, we plant our mulch plot in the early spring. Within three to four weeks, the plot fills thick and is ready for its first cutting. If you struggle for space, you could even plant the areas between your growing rows for this purpose.

Of the two, we actually prefer sowing cereal oats as our crop for mulch. They both perform equally well, but in the two years we have been doing this, the oats seem to regrow faster. But more than anything else, although both are extremely economical when compared to straw, the oat seed is about 1/3rd cheaper than the rye.

Whichever you use, they both germinate and grow fast. In fact, quick enough that we are able to get our first cutting by late April. That means we have plenty of garden mulch on hand well before we begin to plant the large majority of our garden.

Over the course of the first few months, we are usually able to get four to five cuttings before having to reseed the plot to keep it thick and lush. Each cutting after a first cutting is always a bit less, but always enough to keep us more than supplied with mulch. 041b061a72


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