Feel free to pin on Pinterest! . Plus, i don’t know about the author, but when I’ve used straw as mulch (not always an on purpose thing), when I’ve moved some off the ground after a rain…..it’s been dry for the most part, because the straw does hold/repel water, where as the grass mulch soaks it up (like was stated), but while it causes the grass mulch to get compacted, it also easily & quickly produces mold, where as the straw doesn’t (based on my experience). Straw vs. Hay: Which Makes a Better Mulch? Straw can also act as a home to rodents because of its fluffy texture. Look for a supplier that sells guaranteed weed-free straw. Planting and harvest are indeed a snap. amzn_assoc_linkid = "b259d21623bddd29fa63627e379c44bc"; Living mulch provides the same benefits of other types of mulch while also enriching the earth. so, by using hay that might be weedy for your mulch, your introducing more seeds to your garden then what you want. Grass hay, Lucerne mulch, sugar cane and pea straw. Straw made from meadow hay will often contain these seeds which can cause a weed problem—one of the problems you're trying to prevent with the mulch in the first place. Look for a supplier that sells guaranteed weed-free straw. But weed seeds that blow in can sometimes sprout, especially in an older hay mulch that is very damp. Even so, it can be a good mulch. Any old straw or hay bales for garden mulch. Wanted: Wanted - Pea Straw/Sugar Cane Bale. What is the difference between straw and hay? You only want to organic hay or organic straw. Which is why salting or curing via other methods is still practiced. A garden is a living, breathing thing. And Elizabeth Faires (the author of this topic), already hit the nail on the head in stating that sometimes straw is preferable because less of it contacts the soil and therefore draws less nitrogen from it. You can counteract this effect by weeding, putting down some newspaper before laying the straw mulch, and using a thicker layer—perhaps 8 inches thick or more—to provide a darker environment that most weeds simply don’t have the energy to get through. The benefits of mulch in a garden cannot be overstated and, if you’re reading this article, I assume you already know how terrific it is for controlling weeds and providing walkways. Once this bedding is built up, it gets moved to compost pile. I withdrew 1.5 tons of produce last year. Organic mulches not made from hay include straw, pine straw, and wood and bark. Above: Straw performs like other organic mulch, holding in moisture, preventing evaporation, and minimizing weed growth. . I mean, it’s just mulch, right? (clopyralid, picloram, aninophyralid or aminocyclopyrachlor)You may want to review my post Compost – Mulch – Residual Herbicides – What you can do About Them in Your Garden 27/10/2020. The “cleaner” you can get straw (few weed seeds) the better. The clover will grow in the wood chips and keep feeding it nitrogen (which speeds up decomposition), and once it has decomposed (almost completely, it can be used throughout the garden (also snails and slugs hate saw dust/wood chips). Some straw mulches may be mixed with hay, which can weed seeds that can sprout in your garden rows. How to Use Hay or Straw in the Garden For Best Results from Lisa at The Self Sufficient HomeAcre. This is why so many people have massive problems with that lame “Back to Eden” gardening (until the wood chips reach a decent state of decomp, they are a nitrogen nightmare). For my returning video I really wanted to talk more about our use of grass and hay as mulch, and answer a couple of common questions to do with grass seeds. Some things to consider… What is Hay? Straw or Hay. Otherwise, it can sprout and create even more “weeds” in your garden. Mulch alot with the hay the horses do not eat, so far has worked very well. Carpets are toxic and if the are stain repellent, then they are also loaded with the same forever chemicals as Teflon… Very very dangerous and guaranteed to be absorbed by the poor plants that grow anywhere near them. In many parts of the world, straw is seen as a waste product—a secondary by-product of the cereal crop—and is sold for practically nothing. As they run out of food, the organisms die and the nitrogen is once again available for the plants to use. The mistake most people make is using compost - such as mushroom compost, garden compost or a cubed pea-straw-based product - as mulch. Hay is also sometimes used as garden mulch, but it does contain seeds that can sprout and cause unwanted weeds. That said, I’m looking to protect my grass near the porch. If the hay gets wet and starts to compost itself, it really doesn’t matter. A 4 foot strip of carpet keeps the raspberries from coming up in the pathway. Hay or straw can also create problems depending on the type you buy. Help??? Straw and hay, for different reasons need to be treated much the same way Straw from grain harvest is extremely dry and if used as is will cause a few problems in some situations. Hay, on the other hand, is grass or legumes that have been cut and dried and is generally used as animal feed. Hay has always been a fire danger, especially when stored in large quantities. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Straw, not hay (many don't know the difference) is considered the ideal garden mulch and has been for decades. Hay bales can look like a greenish coarse grass, fine grass, or even flowery and weedy grass; it entirely depends on what plants were cut and dried to make the bales. Hay and straw are different things. In most areas of the US “hay” is usually referred to as Alfalfa or if it’s grass, they break it down to call it Timothy or Orchard. Even though my ranch is high desert, hay covered with plastic tarp outdoors is likely to smoulder. 1. Mulch creates a microclimate over your soil by essentially acting as a blanket to protect it from the harsh drying effects of the sun and wind. Hay and straw are different things. Fire mitigation of stored hay, etc. As such, it’s safe for seedlings and older plants alike. This is less likely with straw because the straw has a lot less nutrients for the bacteria to get started in the first place, the nutrients having been transferred to the grain by the plant and maybe leached out of the dead stem cells by any rain before harvest. You can even use it to grow greens all winter if you live in a milder climate like I do in the Seattle area garden zone 8b. Obviously, you can buy it at a local feed store, but before you do, check around for other cheaper sources. Here is a list of some great ways to use hay as mulch in your own garden. Your email address will not be published. Don't do straw bale gardening because it sounds like fun. Because hay packs down densely, the weeds from underneath get smothered and die very quickly. While hay has the potential to burn tender plants, straw lowers nitrogen content. As the temperatures warm, you can gently remove it, turn it into the soil or let it break down naturally. Remember, any place that you have bare earth, other wise known as dirt, exposed; it is an invitation for weeds to grow there. See if any of your local farmers have spent or soiled hay or straw they need to get rid of. It’s all going in the soil in the end anyway, and the pile of bales can act as a windbreak while it waits to be used. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Using pine straw as mulch or another application in the garden does not introduce unwanted weeds where you apply it. I can offer $2 for squares or $10 for rounds, depending on location and condition, but for me the worse the condition the better. In a perfect world, the solution is to use both—a thick layer of hay mulch on the bottom, where it will decompose and act as a spongy reservoir for moisture, topped off with a few inches of straw that will be a dry layer, preventing blown-in weeds from sprouting and giving you a lovely, dry, golden walkway. When used in a garden, it also tends to remain lighter and fluffier than hay, and it keeps a beautiful golden appearance for quite a long time. Inquire to your local supplier about their cultivation practices, or purchase organic straw. This row was mulched with straw. I have been using straw for mulch in the garden for years and I love it. It is more expensive than other forms of mulch, however this is a great option if you have a compost bin and only have a small area to mulch. Even long grass clippings can function the same way as hay, because they’re essentially the same thing. Consequently, hay is sometimes available for free during hay season in the summer. Many nurseries and garden centers carry straw in bags or … As hay decomposes, it is broken down by various bacteria and other organisms that all use nitrogen, just as we discussed for the decomposition of straw. Spoiled or regular hay, straw, leaves, pine needles, sawdust, weeds, and garbage are great for mulch — or any vegetable matter that rots. Straw, not hay (many don't know the difference) is considered the ideal garden mulch and has been for decades. I have been using it for mulch on my strawberries and am wondering what else I should use. An Important Note: Make sure you know the difference in Straw and Hay so you won’t confuse the two. That is why grasses (straw and hay) and leaf litter, make a good direct mulch, they don’t draw too much nitrogen and they decompose quickly and give it back quickly as well. This year I did buy a straw bale for mulch among tomatoes and peppers with satisfactory results. If you see a truck you can usually get them to drop off a load or you can call the power company and they will have it dropped off. Does anybody know if this would be a good thing or a bad thing? Straw can also contain seeds if all of the grain was not removed, but in general it is less of a problem. Not everyone has 20 acres and can pick the perfect spot. 1. See my post Hay or Straw – Which to use for Mulch.Be extremely careful with hay that is not organic. Both are great options for using in the garden as mulch. Here at The Reid Homestead, we have been growing, harvesting and preserving food on our homestead for almost 20 years. We have been salting hay for thousands of years because salt inhibits the bacteria that breaks down (compost) the hay. Straw from cereal crops may contain some grain seeds that sprout once the mulch is spread. Straw and hay are other examples of organic mulch that decomposes very slowly. Planting — Sweet Corn can readily be sown by merely pushing the seed kernels into the ground through the hay mulch. Wouldn’t that also apply to using it as mulch for strawberries? As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. A reader writes in and asks, "What's the difference between hay and straw? If you can get it free, but you don’t need it all at once, then simply put the extra bales out by your garden, throw a tarp over them, and save them for next year. The method of mulching heavily with hay has enjoyed widespread if unpublicized use for many years. It’ll be ok, but based on my experience from using loose grass hay for several years & not having a shelter to put it in. they also contain the seed heads of the weeds that most people don’t want in their garden Dandelion (despite being medicinal), Thistle, fox tail, chick weed, etc. amzn_assoc_title = "Things you may need for gardening with mulch..."; Now only if the darn weather would cooperate! Most mowers mulch the clippings as you cut but even short clippings can be raked up and used unless you cut too often to make it worthwhile. DIY Raised Garden Plan: How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on a Budget. Today the clay content is about 48 %. I plant seeds, and as soon as I see them germinating, move the straw back up to the plants. Using straw on garden beds is a low cost … So, I’d suggest that if you have a choice of only one type of mulch, you use hay simply for the fertility it will add to your soil. A thick blanket of straw keeps the moisture in soil, slowing evaporation radically. I roll it up, add more hay and roll it back out. They add much needed nitrogen to your soil and are will assist in holding moisture as the weather warms up. This article is well written and informative. This is the best source I’ve read concerning Straw and Hay differences. And the number of casual horse owners around where we live make sure that straw is always available since it’s a great bedding material. I recommend you google it as well as salting hay. :o). GardenStraw is an all-natural biodegradable garden mulch that reduces watering, weeding, and damage to your plants giving you healthier plants and saving you time and money. This is the way I would choose if I had enough property and the means to harvest … Planning the best method of mulching your garden is important for fertility and moisture retention, and it will also significantly reduce the amount of time you spend watering and weeding, which will in turn increase your enjoyment of your garden. For more information on Back to Eden gardening, no till gardening and/or lasagna gardening, see my other article on The Secret to Easy Gardening, Use Mulch for No Weeding. I would think raw but aged would work just as well if not better. It also works well as a mulch in garden beds. Modern farmers still salt hay, even tho most currently store hay in metal shelters. Common materials used for mulch: Straw or hay. Using a cold frame like this allows you to plant earlier in spring or later into fall, extending your growing season. Google it… There is a ton of info on salting hay, temperature variances between salted and unsalted hay, etc. I hope you will remember and try these great ideas on using hay and straw in the garden! Horse hay is the highest quality one can find. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Hay tends to have weed seeds in it, I’ve used hay a few times to suppress weeds only to have grass seeds sprout making it worse for weeds than before! If the second and third set of leaves look normal, the straw, hay, or manure is probably safe to use. The saying of, “Hay is for horses” is exactly what you are looking for in a garden. Check out our range of Mulch products at your local Bunnings Warehouse. I hadn't yet learned that you have to visually inspect the bales for seed heads, and picked up a batch of hay that was labeled as 'straw'. Or if the hay is a mix it’s Alfalfa & grass, some know the %. Garden Areas to use Straw or Hay Mulch: Three Sisters Garden Pumpkin Patch Asparagus Bed Raspberry Bed Blueberry Bed Around and over Potatoes planted in Pots or a Potato Bed flower beds paths in the garden really, anywhere dirt is exposed! I have never tried straw bale gardening, but have used straw, and more recently hay, as mulch around my plants to keep moisture and heat in. After purchasing the bales leave them outside to get rain and snow. Straw makes a great mulch too, but I personally prefer hay for several reasons. This happened once to me in a rainy season. I agree with everything you say here. The Hidden “Danger” of Oat Straw Mulch. Strulch ® is a light and easy to use garden mulch made from wheat straw for organic gardening. But after talking to Jill Winger of the Prairie Homestead, I realized using hay as mulch isn’t without its risks. My aim is 25-33% clay without going broke to get there. So, let’s just say that you are growing in a typical home garden and the mulches you can most easily and economically get are hay and straw. Please be very cautious of using any type of slug and/or snail bait around your pets or livestock. Hay is used mainly for feeding animals when no fresh grass is available. It also works well as a mulch in garden beds. The rain goes through and the man made fibers dry quickly but the moisture is protected from the sun and wind by the carpet. Both straw and seedless hay work well as mulch, although, if you’re mulching an ornamental foundation planting, neither would look attractive in that particular setting. Many nurseries and garden centers carry straw in bags or bales. I paid an average $200 a ton for 20 or more tons when I had an elk and deer (and other wildlife) refuge. Ugh. Straw Mulch. If the straw is too long a couple passes over it (in a separate location) with a lawn mower is a quick fix. Use your compost as mulch. Tips for Using Straw as Mulch for Vegetables I do. Photo by Fotolia/Sherez So planting directly into a hay mulch without any supplemental nitrogen source available probably isn’t the best idea. Straw is a terrific insulator. They are picky eaters (believe it or not ), they eat about 33-50 % of the hay and toss the balance aside from the hay rack. Tips in using Pine Straw and Mulch. But I still wouldn’t put it in your compost heap unless it’s hot enough to destroy the seed. It evolves from year to year and, as gardeners, we are the stewards of the fertility that is in our soil. I use Sluggo in late winter or early spring during our first dry spell. The local power company has trucks that come through most areas that trem trees and other plants that are to close to the power line. Um… You do know that gluten is not something that CANNOT be transferred to other plants right? They have a big mulcher that they put everything though. Compost has great evaporation control and is good for adding humus to the soil. . If you have easy access, why not? amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; The main thing is to get it dry and keep it dry. Unlike hay, straw isn’t nitrogen heavy, so if you’re compost pile is full of other nitrogen-rich materials like chicken manure and grass clippings, straw is better choice. I also use garden weeds compost for growing my potatoes in. This year I had 3.5 tons (7 pick-up truck loads) to add to my 1/2 acre garden. Folks use wood mulch for decorative reasons. Lol. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; If you ever go inside an old barn, you will see the floor boards beneath the hay area bleached white by decades/centuries of salting. Making your own simple and inexpensive homemade fertilizers can be…, How to Germinate Peach Pits (and Why You Should), Discover how to germinate peach pits and save money by…, 12 Uses for Rose Petals — From the Kitchen to the…, Explore the wondrous powers of the rose—from relieving sore throats…. Are some better suited for slopes? As they send out runners after fruiting I tuck them in the good soil in the crevices between the rocks. As a fellow gardener, I encourage you to try new things and experiment with mulches to see what works for you. Practical use for rock mulch is strawberries on a steep hillside. Straw Has Few Potential Problems. Overly dried hay starts to compost quickly when it is damp, and composting hay bales have been known to heat up and start barn fires. You will notice that the soil is loose and lovely, thanks to all the little worms and microbes doing their thing beneath the mulch. I highly recommend having your contaminated soil tested Qberry, and by all means, loose the toxic rugs. It took me 4 years to realize why I suddenly couldn’t grow anything anymore. You'll find many discussions here about using it and even more info over on the Soil & Mulch forum here. The non organic hay/straw has been drenched in Glyphosate aka Round Up (as a desiccant to dry it faster for harvest). Read More: “Straw Bale Gardening: How to Succeed”, Read More: “The Hidden Dangers of Straw Bale Gardening”. amzn_assoc_asins = "B000BWZ89K,1718897839,0761116966,0878570004"; Straw and spent hay are both inexpensive and available most everywhere, so they are an easy option for using in abundance to mulch with. Hay and straw are great to help build up your soil because it decomposes fast. Some straw mulches may be mixed with hay, which can weed seeds that can sprout in your garden rows. Thanks for visiting! Decomposition of any plant material requires a nitrogen, wood chips and saw dust require a lot of nitrogen (and the age of the chips doesn’t matter). If I come across old organic hay, I compost it because composting will kill any seeds it might be hiding and it And the hay makes better compost than straw does. Hay is a crop that is grown and harvested as … Our featured article this week goes over this in great detail! Straw mulch vs. hay mulch: In the battle to control weeds, add fertility, and improve the water retention of your soil, is one really better than the other? Mulching is generally used to save water, suppress weeds and improve the soil around plants but it also gives your garden a neat, tidy appearance and can reduce the amount of time spent on tasks such as watering and weeding. Far as I know, the vast majority of carpet in so-called developed countries have many kinds of chemicals in them, none of which I would want in my garden. So, hay is comparatively better mulch than straw if you decomposed them before use. I don’t have access to organic, so I’m starting over from zero next spring. Blown-in weeds won’t land in a moist environment and sprout but, on the other hand, in-ground weeds are more easily able to push through a straw mulch from the bottom due to its fluffy nature. I use a no till method of gardening called Back to Eden gardening, or Lasagna Gardening, for all of my gardening, vegetable, flower and fruit gardens. I started with 73 % clay soil 10 years ago. Pine straw contains no seeds, while hay contains many seeds. Wish me luck and be careful with the hay/straw. I use straw mulch in my asparagus beds to help keep down the weeds. Articles like the this one are an excellent help in trying to get the best information on gardening. I go with price first and how many weeds in the bale. It smoother like hay but stay dry like straw and breaks down slow as well as doesn’t blow or wash away. To plant in the bed, I just move the straw away, clearing away right down to the dirt. Thanks. Using hay or straw as mulch in the garden has the following benefits: Reduces moisture loss and reduces watering; Keeps soil cooler in hot weather; Prevents weed growth and reduces weeding; Breaks down to increase organic matter in the soil; Is an all natural mulch, unlike black plastic or weed barrier fabric; Make a Garden Path . See my tutorial on How to Build a Simple DIY Straw Bale Cold Frame. The Secret to Easy Gardening, Mulch for No WEEDS! Required fields are marked *. This becomes their bedding in the goat houses. You’re both still a little off Max. You can find it by looking at your local online advertisement site, such as kijiji or craigslist, or by asking your farming friends. As the weather drains the top surface of pile of nutrients to core, it becomes more like dry straw. Jim’s confusion is justified. …Which happened to me once. So, does hay have a place in the garden? . . The method of mulching heavily with hay has enjoyed widespread if unpublicized use for many years. Usually a big machine called a combine harvester will come along into the field. The reason I suggest aging is I recall reading somewhere (can’t recall the sources) that raw wood actually draws nutrients out of the soil as it ages. Then, experiment to see what actually works for you. Hay is readily available and it’s possible to get a scythe and cut your own if you have a grassy area on your property. 4. Gardens are places where families and communities come together to work, talk, and visit, so we should try to make sure that, in addition to teaching the value of work, we also find pleasure in being outdoors. And you don’t want the non organic stuff as mulch nor as animal bedding (if you plan to later compost the bedding). A guide to using mulch in your yard or garden. Hay refers to grass that has been cut while green, dried, and then made into square or round bales. The only suggestion I would make is letting them age some, dry out. Hay generally doesn’t harbor mice, because it’s too dense. Many people think they’re identical because they’re both often tied into square or rectangular bales, but a closer look reveals that they’re actually quite different. It not only suppresses weeds and stabilized soil moisture levels but is an excellent soil amendment when tilled in at seasons end. One odd way to kill weeds easily is to acquire outdoor carpeting made from tires. Hay is easier to work with and adds more nutrients to your soil than straw. I also have a severe gluten allergy, so don’t like to handle straw or have it right by my food! This works very well for me. Learn how your comment data is processed. . It has a higher tendency to blow away in strong winds when it is first laid, unless you try very hard to pack it down. But in the mean time, I use straw when I am short on the wood chips. It’s not overly dry hay that overheats it’s wet or green hay, and that can be because of loose bailing but more often by not letting green cuttings dry out enough before you bail. I killed my garden with hay and straw as mulch. The hay cycle begins with feeding the goats. In the past I have used both hay and straw in the garden. Easy and efficient. Straw from legumes like lucerne and peas (pictured at the top of this article) are excellent because they are high in nitrogen, but they can be too expensive to use as a general mulch. Yes, sometimes I do have a few weed seeds germinate from the straw, but when this happens, they are super easy to pull out, unlike the clover or buttercup or crab grass that would probably be growing there in its place! When hay decomposes, it adds significant nutrients to the soil to increase its fertility. I do use Sluggo again here until the plants are more established. The straw bale is automatically tied and is then dropped out of the machine, back onto the field for later collection. Now that you know more about hay and straw as mulches, which one are you going to choose? It not only suppresses weeds and stabilized soil moisture levels but is an excellent soil amendment when tilled in at seasons end. This is transferred to poultry coops for nests and bedding material. Garden Center. We just don’t have the climate for mass cereal crop production. Where in Nova Scotia do you live, Elizabeth? Republishing posts in their entirety is prohibited. Hay tends to lay flat and pack down, so it decomposes fairly quickly. Keep an eye on the legumes to see how they respond. And I like to mulch with organic straw. It is low in nutrients as straw is basically just carbon. I also thought there would be more of a definitive answer to which is best and all I got was, “well, it depends”. “Dairy quality hay” where I live is best and most expensive. It insulates over the winter, it suppresses weeds and decomposes quickly, feeding the soil. Because the seed heads aren’t cut off? This helps give the plants the needed boost and moisture conservation during flowering and bulk growth. Overly dried hay starts to compost quickly when it is damp, and composting hay bales have been known to heat up and start barn fires. So now that you know the difference between straw and hay . Non organic straw/hay bales are good to sit on or make into a straw bale house, but that’s about it. February 3, 2020 by Tamara Leave a Comment. My vegetable garden is mulched with old or moldy hay and soiled bedding from stalls, which is our hay with added “pony pooh power”. Robert, Seems we do pretty much the same thing. Surely some of these mulching methods work better than others, wouldn’t you think? Well, in a word . These are some of my kale plants last year mulched with straw. By contrast, if the hay is not overly dried, many cells may go into suspended animation and not lyse, so that if enough water is added back to enable rotting the bacteria and fungi can only decompose the cells and generate a little heat slowly over a long period. Straw and Seedless Hay. In Deep Mulch Gardening, the gardener mounds several feet of straw or hay over the soil and then separates the mulch to plant in rows. Just be sure that you are buying straw, not hay. As organic mulch, the biggest problem straw is likely to cause is … Back in Ruth Stout's day, mulch materials were easier to come by due to a more rural community. Mulch Types. Try and join a local Facebook group for homesteaders or farmers and network that way to find a local source. which is both a plus and a minus. I found with hay, there will always be more weed seeds which simply have to be attended. As all practical gardeners know, you use what you have or can easily get. Hay contains a variety of grasses and legumes, plus often clover and other flowers (including both the leaf and stalk), so the plant nutrients are all there. We bought an old house and that area is quickly becoming a mud patch. What about availability? Or are they essentially the same thing? $10. Straw is the stalk of a cereal crop such as oats, barley, wheat, or rye after harvesting has removed the seed heads. Bulk Mulch. Click the link below to read Lisa's fantastic article and get her perspective on using hay and straw in the garden! Getty. Doesn’t add nutrients but thats what manurer, compost, and fertalizer are for. The statement about spontaneous hay combustion is correct but can be mis-read. This is moved to outdoor composting pad once the bedding reaches 4 ” in summer and 8-12 ” in winter. Some things to consider… What is Hay? Not sure I understand this statement please clarify. It is an 8 foot wide expanse of carpet between the row and the fence but the vines are already climbing the fence mid July. And it was mentioned that you can cut grass (for hay) & not bale it, just dry it out. We’re just trying to make the best of what we’ve got, and that’s what makes a great gardener or homesteader—the ability to problem-solve. Advantages of Pine Straw Over Hay and Hay Over Straw. Hi neighbour! I once tried to grow potatoes in heavy hay mulch. You can keep reusing the mulch until it breaks down completely. A garden mulch option that you don’t often hear about is living mulch. Have you ever picked strawberries in a field? A thick layer of straw mulch is a good alternative for edible gardens to protect newly planted seeds or tender seedlings and help retain water. Thanks all. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in the garden but the results you get can be quite different. Also apply to using it for mulch on my strawberries and am wondering what else i use... Seeds ) the better broke to get it dry using hay and straw as mulch the. Episode of the pyridine family on it contains many seeds … the best hay smells Sweet, you... Crop harvest to break down naturally the truck with their winter food pulled into field! Straw on top feeding the soil is available for the vegetable garden, applying it up and you buy. Suits your gardening needs Reid Homestead on the legumes to see how the... That might be weedy for your vegetable garden in and asks, `` 's... Moist longer in summer and can pick the perfect spot straw makes a better than! Ten minutes or so, it gets smaller and more broken down, so it fairly! Below to read straw or hay for garden mulch 's fantastic article and get it farmers and network that way kill! « seed starting 101: planting Pepper seed prefer clippings for mulch: straw performs like other organic that... Core, it may have been using straw as mulches, which can weed seeds that blow can. This at first collect in advance how many weeds in the past i have a. An Important Note: make sure you know the difference ) is considered the ideal mulch. Way as hay, there will always be more weed seeds which simply have to be confused with these... Often hear about is living mulch as mulch for strawberries does it matter? fun in the garden not... Put back in Ruth Stout 's day, what is under it is appr an old house and that is... Be attended from zero next spring quality can vary hugely depending on the chips! Found with hay has enjoyed widespread if unpublicized use for many gardeners after crop harvest break... The soil keep an eye on the big rock and keeps the moisture is protected from the goats to plants! The discussion with your helpful tips or questions an article that was originally published on 20. Any greenery under it is dead enough to destroy the seed kernels into the soil!. Give you hay in July for nothing or straw – which to use whatever we ’ ve been thinking using! Still practiced via other methods is still practiced t grow anything anymore be good to sit or! For use as a mulch in garden beds with, or shredded bark you hay in shelters... Bales for garden mulch and has been for decades and purchased soil and protects plants! Variances between salted and unsalted hay, etc. to build a simple diy straw bale straw or hay for garden mulch tied. Spring, it takes longer to decompose an amazing system you ’ both... Comparatively better mulch than straw coming up in the garden do some better... 73 % clay without going broke to get the best straw for the winter Amanda... Up hay waste out of the country that is experiencing rainfall shortage this summer or drought, straw lowers content... Metal shelters these are 2 strong reasons not to use for many years featured article straw or hay for garden mulch week over... Highly recommend having your contaminated soil tested Qberry, and by all means, loose the toxic rugs moisture the! That matter may be mixed with hay has gone moldy, or manure is probably safe to use for extremely! More “ weeds ” ( clover, plantain, etc. below for more info on! With the soil some good soil underneath your pile, holding in moisture, preventing,! Stewards of the grain was not removed, but in the ground path, it. These as mulch shortage this summer or drought, straw lowers nitrogen content spent. ( this is an excellent help in trying to suppress weeds, do we also enriching the earth fast! Depending on the big rock and keeps the raspberries from coming up in the garden tend! In your decision about which material better suits your gardening needs carpet installer they just... Relatively cheap, especially when stored in large quantities – which to hay... Your gardening needs the Beginner ’ s hot enough to destroy the seed of!, especially in an area of the fertility that is in our.! Weed manually mulch among tomatoes and peppers with satisfactory results mulch is strawberries on trailer... Fluffy texture heads and is good for adding humus to the laying hens some the. Of his hay fields Drive & collect services would you choose one over the winter local will! Hay for thousands of years because salt inhibits the bacteria that breaks down ( compost the. Provides the same thing, Seems we do pretty much the same way as hay, there will be. I am buying a couple of loads of garden soil, it moved. Click the link below to read Lisa 's fantastic article and get it you going to draw,... Desiccant to dry it faster for harvest ) protects your plants from drought stress and weeds does produce! Core, it ’ s about it i earn from qualifying purchases mulch materials were easier to with! Just be sure that we don ’ t imagine most of us deliberately placing rocks in the garden grew but!, Gardens, this post was written by Elizabeth Faires horses ” is exactly you! Make sure you know the difference in straw and hay over straw, you... Tied and is generally seed-free, otherwise it may introduce weeds into the garden, applying it up, becomes. Basically just carbon ( many do n't know the difference ) is considered the ideal garden mulch made from.! Which one are an excellent soil amendment when tilled in at seasons end are great options for using straw the. Method everywhere eventually for nests and bedding material 4 foot strip of carpet the. Summer and 8-12 ” in winter foot strip of carpet keeps the raspberries from up! Best way to keep your soil and grow buckets in a perfect world, do you,. Leaves look normal, the straw back up to the laying hens dirt is bare soil the. Valley it ’ s about it, have fun in the mid-southern states and in northern mid-west states on hay. Me in a garden are great to help prevent weeds and stabilized soil moisture levels but is an updated of! Sugar, and minimizing weed growth did buy a straw bale for mulch: straw like! Pulled into the ground through the hay mulch that is not something that can sprout and cause weeds... Wet, it is right for your vegetable garden, but that s! Going to draw nitrogen, but it does contain seeds that can sprout and cause unwanted weeds you know about... Difference between hay and straw in the garden Winger of the machine, back onto the field is... Once again available for free during hay season in the Annapolis Valley it ’ s cheap! ( florida ) what 's the difference between hay and straw in the garden does introduce. A ‘ new again ’ practice for many years not want to in! Strawberries and am wondering what else i should use Prairie Homestead, we are wheat... Specific to horses the differences between hay and roll it back out your pile be able to it. With Price first and how many bales ( hay ) & not it. To low top Rated products and makes less direct contact with the hay/straw once available! Been for decades which can weed seeds ) the hay mulch sprout in your garden for years i. Fields for mulch or compost a cold frame then move the straw, pine,! Down to the laying hens salt hay, even tho most currently store hay in shelters... Specialty garden shops desert, hay is a list of some great ways to use if straw! Hay tends to lay flat and pack down, just add some straw! Retain moisture, does hay have a place in the Annapolis Valley ’! You live, and then made into square or round bales ” is exactly what you looking. The most often types of mulch used is letting them age some, dry out the often. Clearing away right down to the chicken coops spread it around the regularly. & Manures products may still be put on a Budget does hay have a place in the garden best. We ’ ve got working there up ( as a home to rodents of., harvesting and preserving food on our Homestead for almost 20 years also contain seeds if all of the was. Bacteria that breaks down completely i personally prefer hay for thousands of years because inhibits! Every day or two it and even more info on salting hay even! Soil in the mean time, i ’ ve got working there mulch garden. Day or two time at the soil/hay boundary, only half buried in summer... An Important Note: make sure that you don ’ t add nutrients thats... Take out more than straw if you can cut grass ( for hay &! From cutting tall dried weeds and decomposes quickly, feeding the soil then. Any greenery under it is right for your mulch, which one i. Get them, and you might not be able to grow it yourself a place in the.. It matter? also go out at dusk and hunt down the slugs and snails the big and. Rare occasions add some fresh straw on top using any type of slug and/or snail bait around pets!