Mulching Vegetables

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Zoebetty, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Zoebetty

    Zoebetty Junior Member

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    I have heard that sugar cane mulch robs vegetables of certain nutrients, does anyone know if this is correct & if so what is a good mulch.
    Regards
    Craig
     
  2. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    g'day zoe,

    well we got our vege's fooled then hey? who thinks these things up? almost exclusively (not a lot of choice involved) we use s/c mulch and our vege's without fertilising are naturally healthy we of course tuck our kitchens scraps in under it and use used water and wee water to name a few things we do. just now bought a roll and some bales(common around here).

    and as the much is sitting on top of the medium it can rob nothing. just might be better nutrients from spoiled lucerne or pasture grass hay's no doubt.

    len
     
  3. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Browns will generally rob the soil of nitrogen, until they are broken down, Greens will add nitrogen. A mixture of Sugarcane mulch and fresh green lawn clippings make a good vegie mulch
     
  4. pumpkin

    pumpkin Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    We tend to use compost most - made up of pea straw, lawn clippings, veggie scraps and leaves with the odd bit of dolomite and chook poo added in. This makes a really good compost which is good for mulching especially if it is not quite fully broken down.

    We also use organic pea straw for mulch and so far the veggies and fruit trees love it.
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    I support Len on this - unless dug into the soil (nitrogen drawdown) the sugarcane mulch will not seriously use nutrient. Neither will it add much in the future.
    The thing we need to be careful of with sugarcane mulch is the transport. It is widely available in the Hunter Valley and there are no cane fields for hundreds of miles.
     
  6. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Good Call, Mark. It is best to use what is most readily available in communities. Pea straw in Tasmania, Sugarcane mulch in QLD etc.

    There would always be exceptions to the rule though i would guess.

    What about Backloading...? Wouldn't it be better to head south with a load of sugarcane bales than with an empty load ?
     
  7. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    My first ever load of compost now smells lovely, and all the nasties have broken down. However I did put in too much chipped branches and so it is pretty chunky. I've also mixed in heaps of chicken manure of which I have a plentiful supply. Does that sound as if it would make a decent mulch?
     
  8. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Way too precious for mulch Mungbeans.
    That sort of stuff, when broken down can be dug into the soil or atleast placed under the mulch so the live in it does not dry out and die.
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    yep our s/c mulch comes from as far away as northern nsw and as close as the beenleigh area on the logan river(app' 1.5 hour car drive), but what else is there for us, there is nothing local whatever we use needs to be transported in, sometimes we get spoilt lucerne hay i most likely comes from gatton way around a 2 hour trip by car.

    with the cane it is more the spraying that it gets and the addition of nitrogen chemical based fertiliser(all transported great distances to the farms), but we need something, and it must have some nutrients in it as we don't use manures or fertilisers. can get slashed mixed pasture hay(app' 1hour away) but it breaks down too rapidly and we can't afford it then, and of course he doesn't always have it. the cane breaks down fast enough.

    use to go rake slashed grass from a park reserve but health doesn't permit that anymore. and those plastic wrap bales of cane mulch break down far too rapidly and also they are expensive at least $3 more than a rough bale (bale $7.50, roll $62 app' 10 bale equiv')and not as much material in them.

    so lots of us have not many options. so over the nearly 4 years we have had a variety of stuff along with the cane.

    len
     
  10. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    We need tonnes of the stuff for our fruit trees but are having trouble sourcing good mulch that won't compromise our organic status.
     
  11. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    What should be used to mulch vegetable gardens in Victoria? Sugar cane mulch is $18/bale and comes from QLD which sounds quite unsustainable.
     
  12. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    get a mulcher and chop up anything you can grow / put your hands on.
    Branches / grass / leaves etc etc
     
  13. Zoebetty

    Zoebetty Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Thank you everybody, this has been most helpful.
     
  14. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    can mulch do that?

    len
     
  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Some kind person has been dumping shredded tree prunings across the road which I have been hauling back to my garden.
    I havent been sure if this can or should be used on the garden so Ihave been mulching the paths with it and thought to scrape it onto the beds at a later stage.
    Comment?
     
  16. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    It would affect our organic status if we can't prove that it wasn't produced from plants that were sprayed with chemicals. We have to record all inputs to the property.
     
  17. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables


    It's been a while since I was certified Mungbeans but is it true that you have to prove absence of chemicals or just complete the papertrail with regards to farm inputs? Of course you would not bring mulch on if you thought there was any chance of contamination, but I understood that the purpose of the farm inputs record was to be able to trace any evidence of contamination found and not to prove that the source was organic.

    Can I ask what it is you are growing up there? Mungbeans?
    .
     
  18. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    We are growing avocados, lemons, limes, pawpaw, oranges, Davidson's Plum, bananas and mangoes.
     
  19. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Re the transport of mulch, isn't part of good pc design to allocate part of the land to grow your own mulch? I know this isn't possible for everyone, but am curious to know what options there are especially for the home grower on a smallish section.
     
  20. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Mulching Vegetables

    Is Neighbours lawn clippings an option (assuming they don't use weed and grubicides)...
     

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