moldy straw - Knowledgebase Question

lascassas, Te
Question by suzannalcook
June 12, 2010
i have a bale of straw left over from last year. i was going to use it under my vegetable plants to cut down on weeding but it seems to be moldy (not wet but very dry). is it safe to use in my garden? thank you for any info you can give me.


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Answer from NGA
June 12, 2010

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I'm afraid the jury is still out on that one. Some of the fungi in the straw can be beneficial and help it decompose rapidly and other fungi can be destructive by spreading to your plants and contaminating the soil. I'd be inclined to use clean straw as a mulch in the veggie garden and compost the moldy straw for use in the garden next season. Simply piling up the straw and wetting it down will start the composting process. Turn the pile periodically to help it heat up. The heat will kill the fungus and you can use the straw as an organic mulch next season. Best wishes with your garden!

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