Re: [tomato] Hay Mulch

Doreen Howard (
Wed, 3 Nov 1999 11:54:15 -0600

One caveat on hay--do NOT use Bermuda grass hay.  You will never get rid the
grass in your garden.  I learned this the hard way when a friend dropped off
three bales of hay in my driveway as a surprise gift.  It certainly wasn't a
gift, but a nightmare.  Also, be very picky in the southern regions about
alfalfa hay, too.  Ask if the field was sprayed with any herbicide like
Grazon.  The Houston, TX master gardeners lost their entire vegetable
display garden one year because they used alfalfa hay that had been sprayed
with Grazon as mulch.  The herbicide was retained in the grass blades and
leached into the soil with every rainfall or watering.
Doreen Howard
-----Original Message-----
From: Olin Miller <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Hay Mulch

>----- Original Message -----
>From: William McKay <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 1999 8:23 AM
>Subject: Re: [tomato] Hay Mulch
>> Reading through the posts on hay mulch, plastic mulch, etc reinforces
>> belief that like politics, all gardening is local.  How you do it
>> not only on your individual microclimate, but what you have for
>Certainly true in our case.  It may also be seasonal,  For example, our
>hay from the first cuttings in the spring (Phoenix AZ) is pretty much
>free of weeds.  But as the summer progresses, the warm season weeds and
>the warm season weeds and grasses mature (giant Bermudagrass may be the
>worst), it becomes too weedy to use for mulch after about the 4th
>cutting (We get up to 10-12 cuttings per year).  Contrasted wit the
>Midwest where earlier cuttings are weedy and the later cuttings are
>purer.  Our straw is usually either from wheat or rye and is pretty free
>of weeds.  These crops are pretty expensive so the weed content and
>impurities from harvesting are pretty carefully controlled.  -Olin