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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WHEN ILL WINDS BLOW (cover seed with landscape fiber)



Wednesday, 7:45 AM.  38 degrees F at the ferry dock, 34 on the back porch.  Wind variable with light gusts.  The humidity is 90%, the barometer falling, now at 29.92", predicting rain tomorrow, falling temperatures and snow flurries on Friday, followed by temperatures in the low thirties thereafter.  Winter is upon us.
   The seeding project I wrote about on Sunday developed a glitch: the covering straw blew off with a gale off the big lake, leaving the expensive native seed exposed.  I had to come up with a quick fix, and being in Duluth yesterday decided on picking up a half-dozen rolls of landscape fiber mulch.  Let me explain where I am going with this.  Covering straw is of course vulnerable to being moved about by the elements, but I had thought we were safe at this location.  Wrong.  
   I have never  liked using mulch rolls with plastic netting, because the plastic takes a long time to disintegrate, and in the meantime is a stumbling hazard, gets entangled in lawn mowers, and can entraps birds.  The product I have settled on is Curlex Net Free, a wood cellulose product manufactured by American Excelsior Company of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  It is completely biodegradable and comes in 8' by 90' rolls.  The germinating seedlings grow through the mat, which disintegrates  completely and does not need to be removed. the excelsior performs similarly to a straw mulch. The rolled-out mats are pinned down with large wire staples.  The mats are not inexpensive, around $65 per roll, but the cost of seed for this portion of the project was $550 and I do not want to jeopardize that investment.  
   The rolls are too heavy for me to move by myself with my ailing arm, so Jay's crew will give me a hand this morning unloading and rolling them out.
   To be continued...

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