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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Why Mulch with Hay? Is it safe to use hay in the garden?

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Why mulch with hay?

It's cheap: Hay is a by-product of the farming industry.

Outside of farming, it is mainly used for rabbit feed and there isn't much other demand for it, so it's extremely cheap.

Rich in nutrition: Hay is rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It'll start to slowly break down into compost over time and release nutrients into your garden.

Lots of uses: You can use hay for container gardening or yard gardening.

I use hay for other things like as a substrate for making mushrooms and feeding my worm bin.

Keeps in moisture: Hay helps to seal in the moisture in your container or yard garden.

This means you won't have to water so often!


Make sure your hay hasn't previously been sprayed with pesticide otherwise it might start harming the microbes in your garden.

Try to buy hay that's for pets, as it's less likely to be contaminated, or look for organic hay.

How to use Hay as mulch

After planting your seeds, place a thick layer of hay on top of your soil around 10-20 cm.

I recommend using an organic hay mulch just like this one I regularly use from Amazon.


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