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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old August 6, 2019   #16
jtjmartin's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Williamsburg VA Zone 7b
Posts: 1,110

I love to use pine needles - they don't tend to clump and they last a couple years. Maybe due to the slow decomp, I have not had any pH problems.
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Old August 7, 2019   #17
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saylorsburg, PA
Posts: 261

I can’t imagine gardening without straw bales as a mulch basis. I keep one bale in each of three garden areas and keep adding straw to beds as the older straw decomposes. Worms do love it as many have pointed out. I also grow 95% of my tomatoes in straw bales. After two years each bale has decomposed to almost being soil and is a great addition to my flower beds as well. In some beds I have also started putting down straw and manure first with wood chips on top. It’s all good and helps cut down on the weeding.
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