Organic sugar cane mulch.
We put sugar cane mulch around our vegetables. In Australia sugar cane garden mulch is a by product of the sugar cane industry. It breaks down easily, nourishes the soil and helps feed the plants – keeping them nice and healthy. Maybe I have my rose coloured glasses on but slugs and snails don’t seem to be attracted as much to healthy well nourished plants, they seem to prefer plants and seedlings that are struggling. The sugar cane also helps prevent weeds and when dry the snails and slugs don’t appear to like traveling over it.
We only use sugar cane mulch in the hot house, never hay, just because sugar cane breaks down faster therefor nourishing these new garden beds quickly.
1.We put hay mulch down on perennials, around fruit trees, roses and around plants, herbs and fruit trees in the food hedges.
2.We will be putting down a 10-15cm layer of hay mulch on new garden beds. By Springtime it will have broken down considerably and be lovely to plant into. The frosts make the ground sweeter and I am sure that is part of the secret sauce that makes it possible to use hay mulch this way.
3.We have started putting the used hay bedding from the guinea pig hutches in a new spot in the Quince Orchard, it gets full sun. The plan is for the hay to break down over the winter months and nourish the soil. In late Spring we will put fencing around this rectangular shaped mound of hay, plant Golden Nugget Pumpkins and add any needed homemade compost to the planting holes. This spot is also near the tap for easy watering.
Our Indian Runner Ducks love pumpkin flowers, the fence will be temporary and only high enough to prevent them from jumping in and helping themselves.
4. The used hay from the nesting boxes and on the hen house floor gets put directly around fruit trees, used to mulch Honeybee’s garden or placed around the flower garden in front of Lil’s garden studio in our Kitchen Garden.
*According to the farmer who baled this hay- one big round hay bale equals approx. 10 smaller rectangle hay bales.
Aunty Jude advice.
Try not to overthink when it comes to mulching. Use what you can, be aware of its providence, try and make as ethical a decision as possible. eg. if you are considering using wood chips ask where it comes from if it is from a local arborist, you don’t want wood chips from a diseased tree in your garden. I don’t imagine you would like to buy wood chips that are a product of old forests being destroyed either.
I will be back to talk about poultry in the garden and pest management.
See you then,
June 1, 2022