Mulch/ sugarcane mulch

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Mulch/ sugarcane mulch

Postby cordelia » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:55 am

Has anyone used sugarcane mulch? Even though it is costly, it looks like it will last a good while. I imagine it is not nutritious like peastraw, but good for a longer term cover? Is there anything I ought to know about it?

Does anyone use a eucalyptus mulch on their vege beds?
Any other mulch comments?
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Postby gardenlen » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:39 am

g'day cordelia

i moslty use hay mulches ie.,. pasture grasses, they provide all the nutrients my gardens need.

as sugar cane tops are taken green and sold as mulch they will have nitrogen at least plus whatever other elements are still available in the soil it grew in.

the s/g mulch in the plastic bags lasts longer than the s/g mulch in the bales. but be carefull the stuff in the bags gets pretty hot at first so maybe don't lay it too thick?

haven't specifically used eucalypt mulch, by that i guess you mean chipped up trees or shredded branches? but i can't see any problems using it the chip may last a while before it rots down.

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Postby Pam » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:44 am

Cordelia, I used sugar cane mulch for the first time last year and found it to be absolutely wonderful for moisture-retention.
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Postby Pokie » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:32 am

I am using it now and I'm with Pam. Keeping the water in and the snails out! Its not that expensive either, At B******S, they sell compressed bales that will cover heaps for about $7.00

I think K***T is cheaper though...
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Postby Pam » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:38 am

But you don't need B******S, or K***T if you live in the area where it is grown! The last time we bought a round bale it was $25.
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Postby Pokie » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:44 am

You are so lucky!!! :x
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Postby aquarium » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:27 am

officiallly: lucerne hay has the most nutrients, and also breaks down quickest to enrich the soil. there are some other "high value" mulch materials such as barley and hops, but not readily available.
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Postby Ace » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:58 pm

Hi all, lucerne hay is so good because lucerne is a legume and will contain a higher level of nitrogen within the leaves as this is where it enters the plant before it is turned into nodules on the root system.

I mixed in some lucerne hay with the herb garden at school with some sheep manure and it worked a treat but i got lucerne germinating all through the herb garden for a while, i spot sprayed it with roundup until it disapeared and now its all good.

I was watching How To Garden on the how to channel and the first show in the group was an american one which in this episode focused on growing tomatoes, an interesting product they used was called red plastic mulch, it was like weed matting but was like a silky vynil type matterial. He stretched it across all of his beds (bed like pete has in his patch on GA) pulled them tight and stapled them to the wood, he then cut a hole in the plastic and planted the tomatoes. But before he put the tomatoes in he ran a line up and back with the aquapore hose to water them under the plastic. This stuff was great, it instantly elimiates weeds, just about elimiates moisture loss from the soil and is quick to install. The only downside is it doesnt rot down and provide nutrients like other mulches would, but this stuff was awsome. I have no idea where in australia you would get it. Matt
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Postby Pam » Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:55 am

I have no idea where in australia you would get it.


Matt, you probably wouldn't if you cared for your soil - it needs to breathe.
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Postby Sweetpea » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:17 am

i used the compressed sugar cane bales lat year and also the lucerne .
i found the sugar canemulch just dissappeared ?? dont know where ..
i still have lucerne in certain spots ..like under the achium leaves !
i plan on using the lucerne A LOT this year !

in the past iused straw and i found a dramatic lack of weeds last summer using the compresed bales ....
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Postby Ken the gardener » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:30 pm

Go for it cordelia, you'll find it great, i use it all the time, my favourite is Ti-Tree, but Sugar Cane Mulch is a greta mulch.
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Postby bubba louie » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:49 pm

I've used sugar cane, lucerne and soy bean. All good. I've never had lucerne grow out of the hay but I did get soy beans popping up.
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Postby bubba louie » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:01 pm

I've been experimenting with coir mulch. It's been so dry here that the sugar cane hasn't been enough in some spots.
The places I used the coir are definately the happiest.
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Postby cordelia » Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:21 am

How does it come? Is it the stuff you get in the compressed blocks and add water? If you use it long term, does it do anything to the soil?
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Postby Pam » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:06 am

That's the stuff, cordelia.

Bubba, if the sugar cane is drying out too fast, I suspect you possibly didn't have it thick enough?!
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Postby Pokie » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:09 am

cordelia wrote:How does it come? Is it the stuff you get in the compressed blocks and add water? If you use it long term, does it do anything to the soil?


It does come compressed to add water...

I found mine ran out really quickly. Within 3 months it was gone... :(
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Postby bubba louie » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:14 pm

Yes it's the compressed stuff. I haven't had it on long enough to tell you any long term efects on soil but I think it should be good.

The only spot that the sugar cane mulch isn't doing it's job is in a peremmiel bed where it would smother the close plantings if I put it on any thicker. It's a fiddly spot and the small particles in the coir work well in the small spaces.
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Postby bubba louie » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:16 pm

peremmiel??????

Haven't had my first coffee yet. :)
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Postby Longy » Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:42 pm

I've used coir mulch. Not the finely ground stuff but the bigger blocks that cost about $9. The individual pieces of coir are about the size of a 10cent coin plus or minus. They pretty much fill a wheelbarrow once they break up and are my fav for pots and container plants. Good value and last a long time if layed on thickly.

The eucalypt mulch i get in 10m3 loads and it's on my fruit tree area. I've just remulched it about 300mm deep and the last lot went for about 5 years. It needs to be weathered until the heat goes out of it and supplemented with plenty of chook manure pellets, B n B etc to help with possible nitrogen drawdown but it takes ages to break down.

I haven't used cane mulch for a while. One year some caught fire in a garden and it just tookoff. Burnt all my poly pipes and knocked a few plants about. I don't reckon it'd be a good thing layed close to the house thru Summer for that reason. I also found it to be quite dusty but for moisture retension it was OK. I prefer hay which i can get for $3:50 a bale and it has no chemicals used on it. Not sure what they spray sugarcane with these days.
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Postby Kalex » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:54 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been using pea straw, and getting some peas growing up... but also noticing how it disappears quickly... I have a theory about disappearing mulch.... I suspect it's appearing again in a bird's nest near you!!!

I've seen birds rather sheepishly sidling their way up to my mulched in raspberries... thinking that I couldn't see them!

Kalex
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