Re: [tomato] Was: Red Plastic Mulch; Now Hay Books

Doreen Howard (
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:18:49 -0600

William McKay wrote:
>I am not clear regarding the technique.  Did you put down thick blocks of
>hay over everything (beds & walkways)?  How did you get water to the
>  My understanding is that you need at least 4-5 inches of mulch to keep
>disease organisms in the soil.  Is this how thick the blocks were?

The hay cover growing beds only.  I'm a square foot gardener who uses 4 X 12
or 4 X 16 foot beds with brick walkways between them.  Each book of hay is
about a foot thick.  Watering is not a problem--it percolates through the
hay. I hand watered early in the season and later just let the overhead
sprinkler fly in the morning so that foliage had a chance to dry before
dark. Plus, with such a thick mulch, the soil stays consistently moist, and
not as much watering is necessary.  In fact, I had blossom end rot with some
tomatoes grown in another bed without hay mulch, but there was none with the
hay-mulched tomatoes.
Doreen Howard