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Re: CULT: Lined beds and Wool mulch

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] CULT: Lined beds and Wool mulch
  • From: "Hensler" hensler@povn.net
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 09:06:11 -0700

----- Original Message -----
From: "Francesca Thoolen" <f.thoolen@comcast.net>

Christy, I am not familiar with the expression 'wool mulch'. Is this real
wool or is it a plastic product called 'wool mulch'? This is quite an
improvement for your babies. Would any other soil improvement product have
done the same? Curious to know if the other products would contain something
in them that these plants would not have responded to. Sounds very


This is real wool, right off of the sheep. :-)

Wool is protein. Alfalfa would probably be comparable but alfalfa can also
heat up quite a bit as it breaks down.  Wool doesn't seem to hold onto the
moisture itself and it actually moderates the soil temerature. I'm planning
to test the wool mulch around a few TBs to see if it's as well behaved as I
think it is.

I was concerned that it might blow around a bit but that hasn't been the
case. Once wet down and exposed to the weather, it forms a loosely felted
blanket and stays put. I've also used pieces of the dirtier wool for years
in the bottoms of gallon pots at the nursery to keep the potting soil from
escaping out of the holes.

It looks like there's a company (or two) that's been testing wool felt as a
commercially produced product. I did a quick search using Google and found a
few links that are interesting. The last one actually has wool products up
and running but the prices are high.


The wool market has been horribly depressed for the last few years. It costs
more to shear a sheep than the wool will sell for commercially. That's the
clean, white wool, BTW. Any black, gray or brown hairs in a fleece and
there's no market at all. Even lower on the scale is "tags". Those are the
manure stained, dirty edges of a fleece that are taken off the fleece before
it heads to market. (Think fertilizer.)

If you have anyone raising sheep in your area and you'd like to try using
wool, it would be worth the time to talk to them. Chances are that most will
throw out the tags and bagged wool can be purchased directly from the grower
for very little.


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