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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
hunter
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Default Compost on top of straw mulch?

At the end of the last season, I laid a thick layer of straw directly on top of my raised beds.

I'm about to top the beds up with fresh compost and was wondering if it's a safe practice to just put an inch or two of compost directly on top of the straw layer, or if I should remove it completely prior to spreading new compost.

I don't till, so that's not an option for me.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
KarenO
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how thick of a layer of straw

if it is a reasonable amount and already moist and decomposing you can put your compost on top. if it is a very large and dry amount it might cause problems and in that case I would remove it, compost it and then put it back on in the fall or if its dry and still straw rake it aside, spread your compost and plant and then use the straw again as mulch.
by reasonable amount I mean a couple inches
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Last edited by KarenO; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:07 PM.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
hunter
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Thanks!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
kurt
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Same here.We have your growing medium then some nice wheat straw(4-6 inch will decompose to 1 inch maybe).The bedding straw in most cases when thrashed of seed is usually clean as a whistle of your "cides"and gmos if needed or concerned.My local feed store carries nice Kentucky straw that destined for stables of those high rolling thoroughbreds.The straw holds water in the reeds,cools down the surface and for us here perfect "straw berry" thatches for our fist sized berrys gotten at local farmstands.All the ferts involved in the straw growing cycle will eventually find its way into your garden.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #5
cjp1953
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I use a winter cover crop in the fall.Last spring I mowed it down and planted into it.It acts as a mulch until the ground warms up.After that I use a thick layer of straw.In the fall I mowed that down.I then used a garden fork to turn the straw under and raked the soil and scattered my winter rye and vetch seeds.I'm going to repeat the same this spring.I have seen pictures of people with raised beds putting in a winter cover crop and doing the same thing.It worked out well for me.Just a thought I'd share.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #6
AlittleSalt
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I've read this thread a couple of times. I gives me a thought, but it's not an answer or advice. What kept me from posting anything was the part where you (hunter) wrote, "I don't till, so that's not an option for me."

My thought would involve a little tilling. Here's what I was thinking - take the straw out and mulch mow it. Then add that to the compost - mix it together - and then scratch it into the top 3 inches of soil. You would have compost mixed with soil and decomposing straw.
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