I'm new here so please forgive if you all discussed this last year, but how
do you know if mulch hay is safe? I'd like to get a couple bales of hay, or
better yet seed-free straw, for mulching potatoes and peppers. I've always
heard that hay is THE thing for mulching. But how do I know if the hay is
safe and doesn't have broad-leaf weed killers in it?
First of all, most broad leaf weed killers (as far as I know anyway,
everyone please correct me if I am wrong!) are only effective when
sprayed on the leaves of the target plants, and they biodegrade with
Secondly, if you get feed grade hay, I don't think there are usually
week killers in feed hay as it could hurt the livestock???
Sprout the Mung Bean to reply...
There is no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the
Wheat straw at least will always have wheat seeds in it. But wheat will
not grow in the summer, at least in the South. But it will oversummer
and sprout in the fall.
If it was sprayed, it was sprayed early so residual effect should not be
a problem. If it wasn't sprayed weed seeds can be a problem. An ex
hort prof told me to get the second cutting of hay, fewer weeds seeds
overall, at least for bermuda hay.
THE thing? Well, lets just say, that any ,ulch is better than none!
I would think that hay that has been grown for guinea pig or rabbit
consumption would be safe. Here are some brands that are often recommended:
Oxbow's timothy hay: www.oxbowhay.com
American Pet Diner has timothy and other grass hay: www.americanpetdiner.com
Sweet Meadow Hay: www.sweetmeadowfarm.com
In general, mulch hay was intended for feeding but got wet or spoiled
before it was baled, or it may have been baled too far past bloom to be
of much nutritional value. High moisture/rain conditions cause mold in
the hay and is generally considered unsuitable for both equine and
bovine consumption (but for different reasons).
At most, the hay may have been sprayed with proprionic acid which tends
to retard mold formation. It's safe for animal consumption. OTOH, if
the hay is mulch hay, chances are it doesn't have proprionic acid
sprayed on it anyway.
I use my feed hay in the garden as mulch if it happens to mold.
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