All I want for Christmas is Straw

As the fall garden cleanup continues I start scoping mulch material. So far all I’ve found is madrone leaves and pine needles. Last year I put a 4″ layer of them on some Creeping Jenny that I was trying to eliminate and the mulch was gone before I knew it.

I think it would have lasted longer if I had put it on bare ground because the Creeping Jenny was full of slugs that ate it as it was dying, and then they ate my mulch. All the grass hay that I put down this spring gave the slugs a haven and they left my plants alone. I’ll need to be doubly alert this spring because I may have a plethora.

One year back when we were poorer and I didn’t realize that I could get bales of straw for my birthday, Fathers day and Christmas, I mowed a field for mulch. I worked it down about 8″ into the soil in a plot that got rich, black and fluffy.

It looked like such loose ground that I decided to plant potatoes in it because they would be so easy to harvest. Bad idea. The field had Star Thistle in it and the thistles were the last thing to decompose. Harvesting potatoes that year was a prickly affair.

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