Is Burlap Safe for Organic Gardens?

Views: 20915 | Last Update: 2009-02-06
While burlap is safe for organic gardens, there is no reason to leave burlap sitting or buried in an organic garden. Use burlap to wrap tree roots or transfer plants in an organic garden with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about Is Burlap Safe for Organic Gardens? Now burlap is made from lots of different material. And it's made from hemp, and it's made from cotton, and there's all types of artificial materials that they're making burlap out of as well. So, that theoretically, the hemp and the cotton varieties of the burlap are totally organic. They might be stamped with a stamp that has ink on it, which isn't organic. Or they might have a plastic string on the top, which isn't organic. But the burlap itself is considered organic, and it eventually will break down. So if you're planting a tree, and it has a burlap ball on it, theoretically, you can leave the bottom of the ball, or cut it back and leave the burlap in the ground and eventually it will die away. But I still don't think that's worth doing, because it still restricts the roots, and it still stops it. And eventually it will die away and it'll break apart, but you're still restricting the roots from growing. And you can use it as the bottom of a raised bed, but burlap does eventually decompose. So even if it's on the bottom of a raised bed, eventually it won't be there. And so if you've got gophers or moles coming up through that bed, they'll still get through. So, yes, burlap is safe for organic gardens, but I really don't see a good reason why you would just leave it in your garden. You can use it to ball up your trees, or use it to store things or grow things right in, but in the end I would still not just leave it in the garden. I would reuse it for as many purposes as you can find, and keep it away from the dirt, and keep it away from your garden, because in the end, compost and good organic material like leaf clippings, grass clippings, and any type of foliage clippings, and using raised beds and rocks and natural materials that are already existing, is still better than using any material that's still organic that still doesn't belong in your garden.