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It’s Not a Tractor, But It Will Do

August 9th, 2014

After an unexpected rainstorm a friend ended up with a few hundred bales of mulch hay. I purchase 80 bales to help him out and because I wanted it to mulch around the apple trees and a few new garden areas I’m working on.
mulch hay 1
The bales were heavy since they were wet and pushing them up the hill in the wheelbarrow was proving to be too much work. So I hooked up the trailer and hauled hay behind my little car. It worked very well, though I had to dig deep to remember my trailer driving skills from college. With a little practice I was back in business and able to get the trailer right where I wanted it. I could have used the tractor, but it will only haul a few bales at once, I was able to fit 8 in my little trailer.
mulch hay 3
I use all the grass clippings from the lawn as mulch, but there aren’t enough of them for the areas I want to mulch so I’m always on the lookout for options. My friend’s misfortune provided me with something I needed.

What’s your favorite kind of mulch?

8 Comments to “It’s Not a Tractor, But It Will Do”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on August 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I prefer straw for my veggie garden although some very stubborn weeds have emerged through it. The straw doesn’t introduce weed or grass seeds or at least it shouldn’t, and helps keep the veggies clean. For flower beds, I prefer Seafood Compost.

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  2. Nebraska Dave on August 9, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Susy, you know already that my favorite garden mulch is fall yard waste. The mix of leaves and grass run through the lawn mower makes a perfect mulch for the gardens. I have started using my lawn grass clippings to mulch Terra Nova Gardens. My properties are the only ones that don’t get sprayed and granulated with chemicals. Living in an urban area spawns manicured lawns and lots of chemicals to make them look perfect in every way.

    Knowledge of lawn management of the past has been lost. My lawn was started back in the middle 1960s and has clover in the lawn. I had a discussion about why clover was in so many neighborhood lawns with the lawn care guy across the street. Back when my lawn was started, clover was intentionally planted with the grass for two reasons. Clover has deep roots so it was a natural way to aerate the soil. When the grass was mowed in the 60s no one bagged for yard waste. The grass was left on the lawn to decompose. Clover is rich in nitrogen so the lawn was naturally fertilized. Today most urban dwellers don’t want clover in their lawns and try their best to kill it with weed spray. Clover makes for good mulch in the garden as well.

    Have a great garden mulching day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Maybelline on August 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Not bark – that’s for sure.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  4. Chris on August 10, 2014 at 7:47 am

    This year I used straw and am very pleased. I have no weeds and this fall plan on adding leaves cut up with the lawn mower. I have used hay but did not like it. Happy gardening.

    Reply to Chris's comment

  5. Clare on August 10, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Susy, Just want to make sure that you are aware that piles of wet hay will smolder and then burn. Yes, catch fire! It should be spread ASAP so it can dry out.

    Reply to Clare's comment

  6. KimH on August 10, 2014 at 10:47 am

    My favorite mulch is fresh cut grass… Its hands down the very best, the fastest to decompose adding good stuff to the soil and controls weeds better than anything else that decomposes into the soil..

    I’ve been using it off & on for about 25 years.. and the gardens that I use it on are always the best… its difficult though for me to find enough grass to cover my needs… but I’ve started raking up the grass at our community gardens and using that to mulch with… they definitely dont fertilize it.. lol.. lucky me. :)

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  7. Sarah on August 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Susy, just curious if you have had success with using hay as mulch in the past? I have access to a lot of wet hay and have an area of the yard that I would like to turn into a garden. It is a large space and I’m trying to figure put the best way to make it “plantable”. Wondering if using a layer of hay would be a good way. What are your thoughts?

    Reply to Sarah's comment

    • Susy on August 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, and straw and grass clippings and shredded leaves. Hay would be great if you can get your hands on weed free hay.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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