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I have quite a bit of spare straw and was wondering whether it would do as a winter mulch on my vegetable patch. Last year I put down a layer of manure, but it's unlikely I'll be able to do that in time for this winter.
Will the straw rot down OK, does it improve the soil etc ? Am interested in anybody's direct experience with this.
I fear you will either end up with a soggy mat-full of unwelcome visitors- or it will blow all over the place
Far better to let it rot down in the compost heap-any thing that rots down in the soil tends to deplete the nitrogen content.
Most likely "a soggy mat" given the current weather. I thought some people actually grew stuff in straw so was wondering if it would add to the soil rather than depleting it.
Some plamys are grown on straw to prevent heir fruit touching the ground (and therefore getting muddy/mouldy) - usually strawberries and squashes/pumpkins. It also helps prevent water loss from the soil in summer - as does any mulch.
But as the others say would not use it as a winter mulch, it will take forever to rot down and if dry(although unlikely!) could blow everywhere. Best thing would be to keep it for next year if you need a summer mulch for strawberries etc - if you've got somewhere dry and ventilated to keep it. Or dig it into your compost - mix it in to help it rot down rather than in a layer. It wont add any nutrients but it is a very good source of organic matter which is vital for good soil structure.
not for winter,it does not break down well and becomes a mess.Hay when mixed with horse manure is good when it has rotted well.
That's an expensive use for hay - it's up to £6 per small bale at the moment whereas bedding straw is £2 tops!!!