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Frequenty Asked Questions

  1. Is Strulch Environmentally Friendly?
  2. Is Strulch made from composted straw?
  3. Will Strulch stop my bulbs and perennial plants from coming through?
  4. How does Strulch deter slugs?
  5. Will Strulch get rid of perennial weeds?
  6. Do I need to be in when my Strulch is delivered?
  7. Can you deliver Strulch outside mainland UK ?
  8. Can Strulch be used in a green house or other enclosed space ?
  9. Can Strulch be used as bedding for animals and can they eat it?
  10. What is the science behind Strulch?
  11. Will Strulch kill slugs and snails?
  12. How big do seedlings need to be when using Strulch around them?
  13. Can Strulch be used to ward off slugs around individual plants?
  14. Can I use Nematodes with Strulch?
  15. Are there any plants which are sensitive to Strulch?

1. Is Strulch Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, Strulch is made from renewable and local resources which do not harm the environment and Strulch is verified for use in organic growing systems.

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2. Is Strulch made from composted straw?

No, Strulch is made using quality wheat straw which is prepared by our own process which doesn't involve composting. It is a manufactured material made freshly throughout the year.

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3. Will Strulch stop my bulbs and perennial plants from coming through?

No, Strulch works by blocking light needed for germination so seedlings will not appear but perennuial plants and bulbs will come through as usual.

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4. How does Strulch deter slugs?

Believe it or not slugs are capable of learning! When Geoff did his experiements he observed that slugs quickly retracted their heads from Strulch because it has a stinging effect on them, they then associate the smell of it with their experience of touching it and keep away. The texture of Strulch especially when dry is also unpleasant for them to walk on.

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5. Will Strulch get rid of perennial weeds?

No, perennial weeds like other perennial plants die back in winter but their roots are preserved in the soil and the plant will come back if not removed. We suggest that all weeds are cleared before spreading Strulch but if some weeds remain they will be easier to remove because Strulch keeps the soil moist and prevents the surface from hardening.

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6. Do I need to be in when my Strulch is delivered?

No, providing you give us details of where you want the pallet to be left we can pass on your instructions to Palletline. However, it is important to give us a telephone number that they can contact you on in case there is a problem on the day.

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7. Can you deliver Strulch outside mainland UK ?

Yes we regularly send Strulch abroad. We send pallets to The Channel Islands, to France, Germany and Italy. You need to contact us for a quotation.

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8. Can Strulch be used in a green house or other enclosed space ?

Strulch was developed for use on open ground, however, if you intend to use it in a confined space we suggest you slit the bags from top to bottom in the open air and leave it overnight. This will allow the product to breathe and for any vapours in the bag to dissipate before spreading . Strulch is not receommended for use in coldframes etc where there is restricted air movement.

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9. Can Strulch be used as bedding for animals and can they eat it?

We recommend that Strulch only be used as a garden mulch, having said that, we know of numerous gardens that use Strulch where there are free range chickens and the evidence is that they prefer to throw it about in search of the worms that linger under the surface in the moist soil layer. Strulch is a bit like a fortified breakfast cereal except tht it is made from wheat straw which can't be digested by animals other than by ruminants ie cows who have a four- compartment stomach. So any animal that eats Strulch will be sick because it is indigestible.

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10. What is the science behind Strulch?

Geoff was working at Leeds University and he conducted experiments on the University Farm.  He noticed that plant residues were being preserved and he realised that it was the natural minerals found in soil that were combining with the plant cellouse. He found he could replicate this and spent five years running trials at the University's Botantic Garden and Strulch was born and  protected by several patents.  The minerals are locked into the plant fibre and are not washed away by water and that makes Strulch long lasting.

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11. Will Strulch kill slugs and snails?

No Strulch will not kill slugs and snails but it will  deter their movement over thre ground towards your plants. The dry scratchy material deters them and the embedded  minerals irritate them and they learn to keep off it! This means that birds and other slug and snail eating animals will not be affected in any way if they eat them.. Where there is an existing problem with slug and snail eggs present in the soil, these can hatch out and badly effect plants regardless of the Strulch. Slugs and snails can also move freely across vegetation without touching the Strulch where there is close planting. The little devils :)  We know from our trials and from your feedback that Strulch makes a huge difference.

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12. How big do seedlings need to be when using Strulch around them?

If you are growing any plant from seed or buying small plugs of plants we receommend that you allow the plants to grow to a good size and to have developed well above ground level. It is also advisable to leave a collar of space around the base of the plants to allow air to circulate and remember Strulch works by blocking out light therefore when growing vegetables wait until they are well established before spreading Strulch around plants or between the rows.

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13. Can Strulch be used to ward off slugs around individual plants?

Strulch is not a slug killer. It simply deters slugs and snails because Strulch is a mulch designed to be spread across a whole area. It stops weed germination and retains moisture in the soil too. The surface of Strulch dries out and it is the physical properties of it together with the added minerals that deters the slugs they wont travel distance over it to get to plants and the added minerals repels them. A small amount of Strulch spread around an individual plant is unlikely to be as effective for that reason.

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14. Can I use Nematodes with Strulch?

What are Nematodes?

Using Nematodes can be an effective way of controlling slugs in your garden but results can be patchy and unpredictable. Here are a few tips on how to get the best out of using nematode control methods.

 

Nematodes are microscopic worms that are well adapted to living in soils. The nematodes used in commercial slug control products are specially selected strains of parasitic species which seek out slugs in the soil, invade and multiply in the slug body and eventually kill the slug by eating them from the inside out (think of Alien film series). Soil inhabiting nematodes have evolved a specialised method of moving through soils by clinging on to the water films that surround soil particles. Their mobility and effectiveness is greatest in well structured, open and particularly sandy soils that are kept moist so that there is a thin film of water kept around the soil particles. Nematode mobility and effectiveness is greatly reduced in heavy clay soils which are compacted, particularly when they are hard and dry.

 

Making sure that the soil is well cultivated and moist before applying nematodes is a good first step to getting the most of nematode slug control. However, covering the surface with a layer of Strulch after treatment is an excellent way of keeping the soil moist so the nematodes can do their job of seeking out and attacking slugs.

 

Should I use Nematodes or Strulch to prevent slug damage in my garden?

The questions should not be either/or since the use of both can be complementary. Strulch works by deterring adult slugs from moving in from outside to graze on susceptible plants and lay their eggs in the soil. If your soil is already heavily infected with slugs then applying Strulch may not always be sufficient to prevent slug eggs from hatching out and attacking plants without having to move in over the soil surface. Combining nematode control with Strulch can be beneficial in these circumstances. Once the nematodes have done their work in removing slug infestation in the soil, the Strulch will deter invasion of new slugs from outside the controlled area.

 

Using nematodes and Strulch to keep slugs under control is a good example the contemporary Integrated Crop Management (IPM) approach to reducing use of pesticides. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.

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15. Are there any plants which are sensitive to Strulch?


Aquilegia​s appear to be sensitive to newly spread Strulch but go on to thrive. It is the young foiliage which is affected and older established plants are fine. We suggest that you wait until the plants are more mature before putting Strulch close up to them. Leave a collar of space especially around any small seedlings to make sure there is adequate light.

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