This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

salt marsh hay

salt marsh hay bale mulched plot

I found a nearby store with salt marsh hay. I bought 2 bales to mulch my fall vegetables. A bale of hay is enormous and easily covered all of my veggies. I'll have left overs for next year.



Blogger themanicgardener said...

Why salt marsh hay? Daphne of Daphne's Dandelions recently posted about NOT being able to find it. I've never heard of the stuff. Is it preferable as a winter mulch because it doesn't germinate except in salty soil? Which would mean no weeds? If so, I understand why you prefer it!

October 22, 2008 2:14 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes! No weeds! That's the main reason its better than regular hay or grass clippings. It also doesn't mat and get soggy like leaves. And is highly rot-resistant. It can be hard to find. There seems to be a spring and a fall harvest.

The negative is I've heard that harvesting is not good for the salt marsh. I can't find many specific references to this online. A brief reference says harvest can be bad for nesting birds if not delayed til after nesting. But it seems like pollution is the big culprit of salt marshes, and reduced marshland has left birds and harvesters competing. I'd like to know if purchase of salt hay is something gardeners should avoid.

Here's and here are a couple articles about salt haying with great art work.

October 22, 2008 11:30 PM

Blogger Daphne said...

Where did you find the hay? As Kate was saying I am looking for it.

October 24, 2008 8:51 AM

Blogger Doctor Mom said...

I'm looking, too!

October 26, 2008 10:31 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Try Hillside Garden & True Value, Belmont. Unless I got their last two bales...

October 26, 2008 10:27 PM

Blogger Pam said...

I got some at Mahoney's last year, i'm going to look for some soon! It was cool, I planted mache, and then just put a little hay over it, and in March when the snow melted, I had a patch of lettuce!

October 29, 2008 3:37 PM

Anonymous banana annie said...

You can usually get salt marsh hay at Erickson's Feed and Grain in Acton, MA. Their number is 978-263-4733. (Note: I don't recommend them for loose (self-serve) bird seed.)
I use the salt marsh hay as mulch and to keep down weeds in my garden paths.
Does anyone know if you can plant vegetables right in a salt marsh bale as you can with a straw bale?

April 24, 2016 11:37 AM

Anonymous SCM said...

Birds and Bloom magazine says you can plant anything in the salt marsh hay bales

March 08, 2017 7:03 PM


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