Dung Tag Mulch

Dung Tag Mulch

Dung Tag Mulch

No, it’s not snowing in VA (Thanks be!)  That’s one of our latest projects, mulching the baby fruit trees with dung tags. What is a dung tag, you may well ask?

Well, when sheep are sheared, if you’ve got a good shearer, it all comes off in one sheet. Then, the spinners only want the cleanest parts, from the upper body. They don’t want the stinky parts from the legs & bellies.  So the next process is skirting, when you trim off those bottom parts, which are full of stickers & leaves, and yes, dung.

While they aren’t good for spinning, dung tags are super for mulching. They’re thick, so the weeds don’t stand a chance (yay!) and all the “organic matter” makes for a terrific slow-release fertilizer. One caution- they shouldn’t touch the trunks. Also, they’re good for some plants, but not others. (Don’t put them on peppers, for instance, or you’ll get lots of leaves & not many peppers.)

That’s today’s lesson from the farm. Oh, and I added some more photos to flickr. We’re coming into lily season, and things are starting to look beautiful. There’s also a photo of rows of beans, showing how big the weeds actually are. I’ve become a big believer in mulching, that’s for sure!

2 Responses to “Dung Tag Mulch”

  1. Brad says:

    Who knew? Wonder if our subsistence-farming ancestors discarded that part of the wool. I’ll bet there were some earthy, organic sweaters or socks about! Will this really hold back weeds as well as the old newspaper-under-bark mulch approach?

  2. Sara says:

    I can’t imagine trying to wash & spin this part. It’s pretty yucky. In fact, fancy fleece sheep wear little coats, to keep out yucky stuff & keep the wool from being “sunburned.”
    It sure looks like it will work. We’ll see as the season goes on. But although it’s new to me, I’ve heard of fleeces being used this way on other organic farms. Evidently sheep manure is high in nitrogen, but also higher than most manure in phosphorus as well.
    We’re doing this on some plants, newspapers on others, and straw on still others, so we’re hitting all the bases. Will report back…