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Post  sanderson on 6/15/2019, 9:09 pm

Chopping mulch! I work left to right with the prevailing wind: bagged quarter of straw bale, large cement pan, paper cutter, chopped straw in smaller cement pan, and into rolling 33-gallon garbage can.  I can then roll it around to mulch the beds. Mulch - Bedding Straw Mulch_11

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Post  MrBooker on 6/22/2019, 12:03 pm

Sanderson. I use this EZ-STRAW. I mulched my entire garden with just one of these bags. It is packed really tight and when you fluff it up a bit, it will cover 500 sq ft.

IMHO: The EZ-straw is already chopped up pretty fine plus, the description says its biodegradable. Just plant and leave it in place to compost.

I buy mine at Rural King for $11.97 per bag  but I see Lowe's also sells them for about $12.97.


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Post  sanderson on 6/22/2019, 1:59 pm

Thanks, Mr. B, I am trying to cut back on labor (of love, but still labor) as I don't have the endurance I used to have. I may try this product as it would save a lot of time. After this summer, I may quit composting all together. I have found 3 different composts I can buy.

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Post  MrBooker on 6/22/2019, 2:19 pm

@sanderson wrote:Thanks, Mr. B, I am trying to cut back on labor (of love, but still labor) as I don't have the endurance I used to have.  I may try this product as it would save a lot of time.  After this summer, I may quit composting all together.   I have found 3 different composts I can buy.
" I have found 3 different composts I can buy"  My wife said the same thing and as usual, she is correct. Since my beds and containers already have the vermiculite in them, all I do now is "sweeten" them up, with bagged compost in the spring and for the last few years, it has worked for me.

I love using the EZ-STRAW.  I just leave it in the garden to over winter and it breaks down pretty well. Next spring, just dig in the partially composted straw and add more compost and I'm off and running again.

It gives me more time to sit on the deck, open up a cold Bud Light Lime and look out over my garden.....   Mulch - Bedding Straw 3170584802
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Post  OhioGardener on 6/22/2019, 4:12 pm

How thick do you apply it to cover the beds for winter, MrB?   I normally buy bales of straw from local farmers, and lay the flakes of the bale flat across the beds to provide about 3" of mulch on the entire bed. In spring they are pulled off and composted, and the beds are ready to go.  The earthworms and microbes love the moist straw against the soil for the winter months.  In this area, farmers sell straw for $2 a bale, and I usually buy 4 bales each fall.

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Post  MrBooker on 6/22/2019, 4:56 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:How thick do you apply it to cover the beds for winter, MrB?   I normally buy bales of straw from local farmers, and lay the flakes of the bale flat across the beds to provide about 3" of mulch on the entire bed. In spring they are pulled off and composted, and the beds are ready to go.  The earthworms and microbes love the moist straw against the soil for the winter months.  In this area, farmers sell straw for $2 a bale, and I usually buy 4 bales each fall.
In my opinion for the winter, a little thicker is always better if you can get the straw down before the soil freezes.  I understand the soil will freeze during the hard winter months but I like to keep it warm as I can for as long as I can.

 I feel good with three to five inches of straw during the winter months. As you say, in early spring when you can pull the straw back and find the earthworms between the straw and the soil, it's going to be a good year.

I understand, everyone may not agree but over the years, it has worked well for me.
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Post  sanderson on 6/23/2019, 3:32 am

Living in a temperate climate, I don't have to mulch to protect the Mix from freezing.  I do, or in the past, like to top off beds that will sleep during the winter with homemade chunky compost.  Come spring, the alfalfa from the horse manure and chopped used straw sit lightly on the Mix and the worms are en mass on the surface of Mix.

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