[Market-farming] hay as a mulch

tonitime at juno.com tonitime at juno.com
Thu Nov 30 19:06:46 EST 2006

Hi Sam,
    I do not have a huge area planted in vegies, but use spoiled hay and
some ground leaves each year  as mulch with great results.  I do lay
heavy paper and then hay above it on all my raised berm beds.  I figure
each bed takes about 40-60 minutes to cover, but needs next to no weeding
thruout the growing season afterward. Any weeds that do pop thru are
easily pulled, as they are weak.  By next spring, i will apply all this
side dressing atop the beds and till or turn - greatly increasing the
organic matter therein.  Yes, it takes awhile - but has been so worth it
using  mostly no-till methods. I will do it again in Spring.  all my
garlic and other alliums are well tucked in this way for winter and the
soil is really becoming wonderful in our 6th year at this farm.  I do not
have experience with doing this on much greater scale - as we have only
about 1.5 acres developed and do not use machinery. Others will have to
chime in on that.
Dandylions and clover do come thru, but that is about it. 
Toni in KY

Does hay cause problems for you as a mulch?  What
about weeds from the hay?  Or do you keep mulching
year after year?

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