Straw as mulch in the garden

Straw hair  Straw help

straw truck  Straw happy

This years garden has been a pretty good success. Some failures but mostly awesome success. So I want to expand. I want more, always more. Our soil is a problem and so are weeds. The soil I imported for this years garden was infested with lambs quarter. That has been a real challenge. I have used straw in the raised bed with good success so I wanted to do it all with straw this fall and plant into it this spring a la Ruth Stout.

The problem for me is finding straw. The straw I bought for my straw bale garden may have possibly been sprayed with something, leading to it’s failure. I didn’t want hay because of the seeds, of course. I thought I wanted wheat straw. As an organic wheat selling mega house state I knew I could find that. In fact it’s stacked up in front of our house some years. Wouldn’t it figure that the only seller I could find was in Colorado then. What a trial.

We decided we’d drive down and grab a bunch of straw for our driveway (that will be another post) and my expanded garden areas. I wasn’t looking forward to the drive. It’d be about an hour round trip which isn’t too bad if you don’t have to take 2 toddlers with you. So, about a mile from our house has been sitting an estimated 8 large round bales of straw. They have exploded everywhere and been abandoned for a little over 2 weeks. They obviously fell off of someones truck and they decided it wasn’t worth it to pick them up. Luckily, it’s worth it to me. I grabbed the kids this Saturday, put all our rubber boots and work gloves on (yes my children have adorable tiny work gloves) and a tarp and set off in our SUV.

I did 6 loads on Saturday (2 without the kids) and 3 loads today. I have accumulated a nice stack of straw in one of my garden areas. TONS more to pick up still. It’s almost free (I’m counting gas as a cost) and it’s AMAZING. It’s chock full of bugs at this point which thrills my birds. It amuses the kids to grab a few loads and I couldn’t be more pleased with someone else’s misfortune. Now to finish grabbing what I need and spread it around evenly.

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