A tale of two mulches

We’ve found that mulching the garden beds with straw or hay makes a huge difference in the moisture retained in the soil. It also helps control weeds around the desirable plants. While straw is preferable (it takes longer to break down and is less likely to blow away) you can use old hay.

This is what a mulched bed should look like – eggplants and capsicums looking happy.

Unfortunately if the hay you use is full of seeds, this is what you end up with – more of a raised lawn with some chillies hiding in there somewhere. Now we leave the hay out for the chickens to fossick through for a while to remove the seeds as much as possible.


  1. Jane G Says :
    24 February, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Love it! Beautiful lush looking grass. :-)

  2. John Says :
    24 February, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Indeed. I was tempted to mow it, put in a hole and use it as a putting green :-)

  3. Dan Donahoo Says :
    25 February, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    We mulch with pea straw – with the aim that it DOES breakdown – and adds nitrogen to the soil. Lucerne is best, but expensive.

    Straw is good, but it uses nutrients from the soil to breakdown, so your plants miss out…hay we find has too many seeds.

    Mulching is the ONLY way gardens can survive in the current Australian drought.

Leave a Comment