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Re: newspaper and - or straw

Marge, as they say, "Compost Happens".  The newspapers and straw will
eventually rot, I think I was just curious.  Time will tell.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 2:07 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] newspaper and - or straw

> FWIW, Kitty, I have always found newspaper takes some time to
> disintegrate - same with straw.  Secret with straw seems to be
> keeping it really wet and like leaves, that's not so easily done.
> Think it may be something to do with the shiny, rather smooth surface
> to straws - sort of like dry leaf surfaces; water will roll off of
> it.  Even shredded, I'd think it would have to be good and sopping
> all the way through and not allowed to dry at all to rot.
> I have (more years than I want to admit) piled up the stems from
> Miscanthus that I cut down on my concrete slab and had them pretty
> well rotted by the end of the year, but they aren't as thick as real
> straw stems.
> I've used straw bales as temporary cold frames and been able to keep
> the same ones for more than a couple of years with only the bottom
> rotting, which gives you an idea how long straw can go before it
> rots!  If you cover a bale of straw sitting on the ground with
> plastic, that bale will last for up to 4 years or more.  People make
> houses out of straw bales covered in adobe:-)
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
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> ----------
> > From: Kitty <kmrsy@comcast.net>
> >
> > Jesse and Pam,
> > I don't recall exactly how thick my newspapers were, but probably
> about a
> > half inch.  And you can still read it very clearly.  I guess when
> people
> > said you could plant directly in it almost immediately I expected
> it to
> > break down more quickly. As to the straw, I thought since I
> shredded it, it
> > too would break down more quickly.  And, yes, I have plenty of
> worms.
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