Saturday, October 3, 2009

Woolch for Mulch Gardening

From commercial growing fields to home gardens, Woolch™ is the answer for those looking for increased yields with herbicide-free and pesticide-free weed control, moisture retaining mulch. No more plastic! When no longer needed for weed control, Woolch™ can simply be tilled in to the soil where it will biodegrade and release nitrogen. Hassle free disposal and great for your garden!

In most cases, Woolch™ provides effective weed control for two years. The wool mulch helps to increase yields, stabilize ground temperature, and retain moisture around plants. While the initial mulch installation is a bit labor intensive, the weed control results are worth it. For long term use with perennials, additional Woolch™ can be added on top of old mulch after the second year.

Field trials were done by mechanically planting strawberries, then hand placing the strips of mulch over the rows, splitting the mulch above each plant, and pulling it to the surface. The field testing was done at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota in Morris with support provided by the Minnesota Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. For more information about the field trials, visit: Large rolls (5 ft x 75 ft) are available for commercial use.

For smaller applications, an easier way to install is to place the mulch strip where you want your rows after the soil has been prepared. Then poke a hole in the mulch using your garden trowel/hoe and place your seedling in the hole.

Woolch™ is a blend of about 50% wool fibers and slightly less than half toothpick-size wood shavings. The wool is waste fiber created by the carding machines at the beginning of the yarn making process and by napping machines near the end of the blanket-making process at a local Minnesota woolen mill.

The wood is a waste by-product created from virgin timber as it goes through the sawmill process. These wool and wood fibers are then blended together via a roller and heat process at a small family operated company on the edge of the Minnesota Iron Range region. The green color is created using a soybean-based dye. Available for purchase online.

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