We are trying something different this season – mostly due to the fact that we got a whole load of “mulch” hay, courtesy of Caleb, who donated it for our vegetable garden. Mulch hay is hay that got wet and started rotting, so it is no longer good for animal food or even bedding. Hay, unlike straw, contains a lot of grass and weed seeds, but we are using it anyhow. We’ll see if it does more good than bad later this fall.
Today, after weeding the tomatoes and peppers, we spread over a dozen bales of old hay around the plants, ensuring that the irrigation lines are still close to the stem of the plant before covering them up. Much of the hay was rather matted together, so it made a pretty solid cover. We carefully spread the loose hay around the plants, making sure that all the leaves were above the hay.
The amount of hay we used barely made a dent in our large pile, but then again, we only covered 2 rows of vegetables in the garden so far.