Wool in the Garden

Many of you are busy planting natural dye gardens and as you plant, what nutrients will you add  to your soil?  

Have you tried wool pellets as a soil amendment?  

While at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival, we came upon producer member Tricia King of 6 Kings Farm selling WOOL4SOIL wool pellets and had a chance to learn more about the product and how to use it.

Wool pellets are shredded, heat treated, and pelletized raw wool.  Typically, the wool used to make them is wasted (there’s not a market for it) or is left over from skirting a fleece and is heavy in vegetable matter.  This often-times trashed or wasted wool is a natural and renewable resource that, when mixed in the soil, slowly releases nitrogen, potassium, and other micronutrients for optimal plant growth and health.  Many fiber farms already toss their  skirtings into the garden, and now the rest of us can reap the same benefits in an easy to use form.  When wool is incorporated into the soil, it is a slow releasing wonder of plant goodness for long term plant health and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

One of the benefits of  wool pellets, as compared to tossing wool in the garden, is that the pellet making process heats the wool so that weed seeds are killed.  This means you don’t have to worry about adding unwanted weeds to the garden.  While the pellets are typically mixed into the soil, they can also be used as mulch.  Another benefit is that wool and lanolin have been shown to be all natural pest repellants. The wool pellets biodegrade in about 6 months and can hold up to 3X their weight in water providing drought resiliency which is particularly important in our hot summer months.  What’s not to love here!

6 Kings Farm, located in Sussex County, DE, is a growing sheep dairy.  Making wool pellets fits into the “no waste” philosophy embraced by the farm.  Going forward, Tricia hopes to purchase raw wool from local sheep wool farmers and create pelletized wool which will be available for direct sale at farmers markets and local garden and nursery centers.  Until then, you can contact the farm directly for your wool pellet supply.

Happy planting!

 

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