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Landscape Design Ideas & Pictures

How to Choose Mulch for Your Landscape

Mulch your way to prettier, healthier plantings. Learn about the different types of mulch and how to choose the right one for your landscape design.

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Julie A. Martens

Straw

A favorite among vegetable gardeners, straw is the stalk of grain plants. It’s not supposed to contain viable seeds, but often does. (Hay, on the other hand, always contains viable grain heads.) When purchasing, ask for clean, weed-free straw. A great place to get it is through a local nursery that seeds lawns. You can also season straw and sprout any weed seeds by sitting bales outdoors for a few weeks. Spread straw mulch up to 6 inches thick. Lay it over three sheets of damp newspaper if you don’t have time to season bales. The newspaper helps prevent weeds from germinating. In vegetable gardens, till straw under at the end of the season.

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