Pea straw is a very effective garden mulch with added benefits of adding nutrients to the soil.
What form is the pea straw sold in?
The pea straw bales come in what is considered 'standard small bales' out of the paddock. Each bale is approximately 1 metre in length x 35 cm height x 50 cm width.
What is pea straw?
Pea straw is the stem of the field pea plant which provided peas for stock feed. Once the peas have been harvested, the remaining plant matter is packaged into small manageable square bales.
What is pea straw used for?
Pea straw is predominantly used as garden mulch. It reduces water loss from the soil and put nutrients such as nitrogen back into the soil as it decomposes. Pea straw can also be used for animal bedding.
Benefits of pea straw in the garden?
Pea straw is a commonly used garden mulch with numerous benefits. These include:
Water Saving: Generous use of pea straw mulch can reduce watering by 60%. Pea straw mulch prevents loss of soil moisture by evaporation, but still allows rain to penetrate to the soil.
Weed Reduction: A thick layer of pea straw can actively suppress weeds from growing through the mulch layer and prevent seeds of weeds from germinating.
Nutrients: As pea straw mulch decomposes, it releases nutrients such as nitrogen back into the soil.
Organic Matter: Pea straw increases the organic matter in the soil. This improves soil structure and drainage, and encourages earthworms and soil microbial activity.
Tips for using pea straw
It is important to create a continuous covering with pea straw mulch so that the soil is not visible. Ideally a minimum ground covering of approximately 50 mm - 80 mm is desirable. However, we recommend that you don't hold back, as creating a thick layer is an excellent method to retain soil moisture.
Some plants such as roses, require a small space to be left without mulch around the base of the stem. The high moisture levels created by the mulch can cause rot in the rose stem. Roses still benefit greatly from pea straw mulch, just not right up to the plant stem.
When should I apply pea straw?
Ideally pea straw should be spread liberally around the garden during spring. If application is left until the heat of summer, then much of the natural soil moisture will be lost.