One of the big advantages of pea straw mulch is that as peas are a nitrogen fixing plant the mulch is higher in nitrogen than most other straws. Lucerne is also good in terms of nitrogen, however it is more costly.
Types of pea straw mulch
The best type to get is the shredded pea straw, its easier to spread although it can blow around a little when first spread. You may get a few peas sprouting, however these are easily removed.
You can also buy bales, cheaper however harder to spread.
You can also find pea straw mulching pellets, more expensive, however very easy to spread.
It works well as a mulch around vegetables such as basil and tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants.
Pea straw also decomposes fairly quickly, this is great for the soil and the earthworms, however you will need to top it up every now and again.
Benefits of Pea Straw
- Use it as a water saving mulch.
- It helps suppress weeds.
- Puts nitrogen back into the soil as it decomposes
- It is organic and will help increase microbial activity in the soil as well as encourage earth worms.
The best time to apply pea straw mulch is in spring when the soil is still moist.
Wear gloves, eye protection and a mask when spreading pea straw as it can be a little irritating.
- Remove any weeds.
- Water the soil well before mulching.
- Apply a 5 – 10cm layer of pea straw
- Leave a small space around the base of each plant.
- Water the new pea straw mulch well to settle it in.