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best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

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best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  otmg on 4/9/2017, 1:28 pm

Anyone have ideas for a good Mulch around lettuce to prevent soil splashing up on leaves when raining?  Something other than straw, which I find is a bit bulky to arrange in small areas.  Thanks!
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/9/2017, 1:47 pm

Cut & dried grass would work as long as it's organic.
glad you\'re here

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  otmg on 4/9/2017, 2:26 pm

good idea Cape Coddess.  However, our grass is full of weeds/seeds.  Another idea?  Something bagged I can buy?  Thanks.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/9/2017, 2:30 pm

I use shredded bark in my sfg beds and walk ways. Using the same makes it easy. I can throw it in or out of the beds as needed.

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  yolos on 4/9/2017, 3:42 pm

I use cut up wheat straw now but I have used shredded leaves or mini pine bark nuggets in the past.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  Ginger Blue on 4/10/2017, 1:41 am

I use pine shavings (animal bedding), which I buy in very large bags at Walmart.

My supplies are stored for the winter, but I think this is what I got:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pet-s-Pick-Pine-Bedding-4.0-cu-ft-Hamsters-Rodents-Rabbits/24232050

It may be "natural," but probably isn't organic.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2017, 4:04 am

Chopped up bedding straw, cut into 4-6" pieces. Cut smaller to fit around lettuce maybe. ??

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Thank you!

Post  otmg on 4/10/2017, 9:32 am

Thanks everyone for the mulch ideas. I appreciate all of them and welcome more as well.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  Judy McConnell on 4/10/2017, 10:39 am

Have a large amount of chipped maple leaves and will use them as bed mulch. Think some nitrogen will need to be added.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2017, 1:54 pm

Judy, When I was still a Newbie, someone suggested that I sprinkle a thin layer of manure compost first, then add the wood chips (leaves for you).

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  camprn on 4/11/2017, 12:24 pm

Finished, but unaged homemade compost.

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  Judy McConnell on 4/11/2017, 12:31 pm

Thanks, Sanderson - makes sense to me!
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  otmg on 4/11/2017, 12:46 pm

Thanks again for all the mulch information.  As I read the comments about using wood chips, bark, etc, another thought came to mind - the question of non-composted wood chips on top of or in garden soil causing nitrogen leach, though it was suggested to add nitro in that case.  I do have lots of wood chips that are nicely composting in the pathways, but those are full of weeds/seeds.  The surrounding yard contains a mix of zoyzia grass and multiplying weeds.
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  sanderson on 4/12/2017, 3:50 am

Camp, I had good luck last summer with finished but unaged compost on top, then topped with chopped straw. A double layer of nutritious/insulating mulch. Very Happy

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  camprn on 4/12/2017, 7:17 am

@sanderson wrote:Camp,  I had good luck last summer with finished but unaged compost on top, then topped with chopped straw.  A double layer of nutritious/insulating mulch. Very Happy
Yup, that's the idea! Wink

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  Banned Member on 4/12/2017, 9:58 am

It isn't very pretty to look at, but shredded newspaper works well on lettuce as a mulch.  If you water by hand with a sprinkler can, the newspaper holds the water and keeps it from splashing upwards.

You could try newspaper and top it with some compost so it won't look as ugly.  

Of course, if you are like us now, we no longer subscribe to a newspaper, and there is nothing to shred.

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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/12/2017, 1:59 pm

@otmg wrote:Thanks again for all the mulch information.  As I read the comments about using wood chips, bark, etc, another thought came to mind - the question of non-composted wood chips on top of or in garden soil causing nitrogen leach, though it was suggested to add nitro in that case.  I do have lots of wood chips that are nicely composting in the pathways, but those are full of weeds/seeds.  The surrounding yard contains a mix of zoyzia grass and multiplying weeds.
This is a HUGELY overblown worry.  I have 5 years experience with using wood chips aggressively for mulch as we live in an area that is dry as a desert and sees heat up to 115 degrees every 4 or 5 years with an average daily temp over 100 for months on end.  

Put the wood chips on top of fully prepared and nourished soil and you will have no issues.  Pull them back if you are planting taking as much care as you can to make sure they don't get mixed into the soil, however even if a little bit of them get mixed in as happens occasionally, you should not have a problem.  Nitrogen is easy to add if it is needed.

Another thing I do is take my compost to about from the bin when it's about half way done and then put that on top as a mulch.  It will finish breaking down just as it would in nature and in the mean time it will store moisture, shield the roots and keep them cooler.   Because I introduced red wiggler worms into my table tops and raised beds years ago, the mulch feeds them and they break it down and distribute the nutrients into the soil for me.  

As to your concern about weeds and seeds in the mulch in your path - when you have invasive species I wouldn't use it.  Just put fresh wood chips down (not bark as it is not made of the same nutritional material as the ramial wood from tree branches under 3 inches in diameter) in a layer perhaps 2 inches thick though it could be deeper if you have the room and need the moisture retention they proved.  They do not have to be composted, they will break down into compost right on top of your soil and faster than you can believe at that!
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Re: best mulch for lettuce & other spring greens

Post  sanderson on 4/13/2017, 2:06 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:As to your concern about weeds and seeds in the (wood sic.) mulch in your path - when you have invasive species I wouldn't use it.  Just put fresh wood chips down (not bark as it is not made of the same nutritional material as the ramial wood from tree branches under 3 inches in diameter) in a layer perhaps 2 inches thick though it could be deeper if you have the room and need the moisture retention they proved.  They do not have to be composted, they will break down into compost right on top of your soil and faster than you can believe at that!
Ramial wood chips are chipped live branches with their leaves. Often from pruning trees. There is lots of mold growth in this type of chips, breaking down nicely.

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Thanks again

Post  otmg on 4/13/2017, 11:32 am

Thanks for all the mulch advice.  Will try out some of these ideas.  There is certainly a wealth of information.Smile and I really appreciate everyone who wrote in.
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