The question is often raised in garden forums, and anywhere gardeners talk together – “Can I use hay for mulch?” The standard answer is “No. Use straw, it has no seeds.” Indeed, many hay varieties of have loads of seeds, and if you use hay for mulch that is laden with seeds, you will be sowing hay as your next crop. Additionally, many gardeners are concerned about the chemical content of hay – pesticides, herbicides and so on. Gardeners will have to deal with the chemical issue themselves, but we all (organic or not) have to take care not to introduce weeds into our soil on accident. It is knowledge and research that can help us avoid disaster.
So is there a hay that works as mulch? My research say there is. Here and here are some discussions about hay for mulch, from which we can glean good info as we learn what our gardens will benefit from and what will be counter-productive. But it was the cumulative research I did, and presentations like this one (at the 2:20 mark) that convinced me that this Coastal Bermuda Hay was not only OK, but good.
Coastal Bermuda Hay is a hybrid Bermuda grass and, apparently, does not seed nor regenerate from stalks and bits left in the dirt. I just so happens that my local Pet and Equine supply had an entire trailer of Coastal Bermuda Hay. I took a chance and bought some. I have nothing to go on but what my research pulled up, but I am taking the risk for the sake of learning and to find better ways of doing things in my garden.
I’ll take the consequences, but if my study proves itself true, I will have no worries.
Have a watch: