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Hello again! I've been on and off the forum for several years while we were waiting to retire, and am happy to say my husband and I have finally retired and moved to our southern Alabama homestead as of June. I love it here. I love everything about it, and for the past few months we've been working hard on our homestead: planting fruit trees, getting our chicken tractor built and populated with chickens, getting a guinea house built and populated with guinea hens, fencing in a 75' x 100' grassy area that will be my veggie and berry garden, putting up the frame for a pole barn that will house our tractor and dairy goats, etc. But I digress.

My question is this: recently I was offered a couple of truckloads of peanut shells to use for my garden (I've been so fortunate to have such wonderful neighbors!), and my initial thought was to use them for mulch in the veggie garden. However, my DH found an article online that says peanut husks as mulch may introduce the dreaded southern nematodes into a garden, which would be hard to eradicate later. Does anyone have experience with this? Would it be OK to just use the peanut husks over cardboard on the paths? (the grass in my garden area has an incredible root system, and sample tilling hasn't phased it a bit... I think I'm just going to cover it up and hope for the best) OR, if I do try composting them, would nematodes be killed in a warm compost pile or would that only happen at 130 degrees? Advice appreciated. Thank you.
 

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They're a little high in carbon (and lignin), making them slower to compost--30:1 C:N ratio, so they should be mixed with a few added "greens" to help them along. As a mulch, they might be a bit too loose to suffocate the Bermuda grass rhizomes and stolons. But, if they are plentiful and cheap? Why not? All biomass counts.

Yes, nematodes could be a problem, so could white rot. So I would "deep plow" them periodically to help kill the viruses. And rotate onto new soil. You always need to rotate.

geo
 
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