Remains of the Hay

IMG_20141208_110646A short Friday afternoon note in praise of summer/aumtumn mulches made from weeds and other hay-like ingredients. Especially important at the moment, because so much out in the field is bare after all the cold and wet weather. However, in the places where I plonked the weeds down in between rows of crops (especially leeks, parnsips and brassicas) as mulches, the soil is nicely covered, offering a bit of protection from the harsh elements; so worms are happily making beautiful casts underneath and working the soil well. This mulch was great in the dry summer and autumn, keeping moisture in the soil, and preventing new weeds from germinating; as well as breaking down and putting carbon and other nutrients into the soil. Plus now the skeletons of the bigger and woodier weeds (such as thistles, long grass tufts and stray oil seed rape) provide a lovely firm path to walk on, when all else is squidgy bloated mud. I knew weeds had to have some point…

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