Can U Use Strw In Flower Pot To Grow Plants What is Safe to Use For Mulch Or Compost in a Vegetable Garden?

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What is Safe to Use For Mulch Or Compost in a Vegetable Garden?

As a gardening enthusiast, you should be aware of the importance of mulch. Mulch is spread on top of the soil near plants or vegetables to prevent soil drying out, erosion and weed growth. Mulch can consist of various materials such as wood chips, sawdust, straw, dried leaves, twigs, etc. In fact, anything you can use to make compost can generally be used for mulch. But the difference between mulch and compost is that mulch is spread over the top of the soil, while compost is better incorporated into the soil by digging in, as compost is a natural fertilizer for your vegetables. For mulch, simply spread them on top of the soil near the vegetables and moisten with water.

Almost all plant residues (pruning, cuttings, fallen leaves, etc.) can be used as mulch. But when it comes to oleander, you have to be careful. Oleander is an evergreen plant that can grow 6 to 12 feet tall and up to 20 feet wide. It blooms between summer and early autumn. Flower size is about 1 ½ inches in diameter. They can have single or double petals with colors such as white, red, pink, rose, salmon or magenta. Found mainly in southern Asia and the Mediterranean, every part of the oleander is poisonous, especially its milky sap. In fact, eating just a few leaves can kill a small child. The leaves of the plant are also covered with a certain type of dust that can make you sick if you breathe it into your lungs or come into contact with it on your skin. Dust is especially abundant in summer when it is dry and hot. So, if you want to prune or cut an oleander, do it after a heavy rain. Also protect yourself with gloves to avoid contact with the juice. So can oleander be used as mulch or compost?

Research shows that when oleander is added to a compost pile, its toxin, known as oleandrin, is depleted after 50 days. So when compost is added to the soil, it does not harm the vegetables. Studies with lettuce (which is a fast-flowering vegetable) and tomato (which are slow to ripen for harvest) do not detect oleander toxins in them. But using oleander as mulch is more risky because the oleander parts don’t break down the way they do in compost. So it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you want to use oleander as a mulch, use it on ornamentals (such as flowers), not on vegetables.

If you add oleander to your compost, allow the compost to mature for more than 50 days and make sure that every part of the plant decomposes and is no longer visible in its original form before using the compost. Even then, always wash vegetables thoroughly before cooking and eating. It’s good practice anyway.

With these necessary precautions in place, oleander can be used as mulch or compost.

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