Search

What is out there about wool mulching? (Part 2)

Multiple studies has confirmed that wool mulch is a great tool to grow strawberries. Most importantly it keeps the fruits clean from mud, prevents fungal infection and snail attack and as a unique benefit, it promotes daughter plants to root.

The natural habitat of strawberries were the woods, where they were protected by litter. Strawberries, I’m sure, were so named because they used to be mulched with straw to protect the berries from damp and slugs. Nowadays it is black plastic, far less romantic and sustainable. Straw is a cheep solution, however it has it's throwbacks. It has a rough structure that does not enable it to keep the water, which therefore flows through it. As a result, straw often rots on the surface of the soil. An other disadvantage is that microorganisms use soil N (nitrogen) to decompose straw, which causes deficit of N for strawberries. Wool at the other hand has a macro-structure like a sponge, which helps to retain water and to promote soil moisture without rotting. It is an organic material that helps to balance soil temperature, like a shepherds coat, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It protects the soil from the harmful UV radiation and promotes soil biodiversity. It helps to keep the garden weed-free, however perennial weeds might break though the wool carpet eventually.


References


Hoover, Emily E. (2000). Bio-based Weed Control in Strawberries Using Sheep Wool Mulch, Canola Mulch, and Canola Green Manure. Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/208788.


https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/11552131/the-wool-mulch-system-of-producing-strawberries-pdf



12 views0 comments