I love using straw for mulch – it’s cheap, breaks down easily, provides a nice cushion along garden paths, and extra bales are wonderful seats in the garden.
Most feed stores will sell both hay and straw, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the feed store and questioned myself about whether or not I was getting the right one. I’ve noticed that many garden blogs use the two terms interchangeably, but they are ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY NOT THE SAME. Gardeners beware!
Hay? No Way! Hay Is For Horses!
Hay. Hay is for horses… and pigs and cows and goats. In the store it’s often a bit greener than straw. Hay has SEEDS in it. So unless you want to grow hay all over your garden, don’t buy hay for mulch. Hay? No Way!
Straw Is For Mulch
Straw is a by-product of the wheat, oat, rye, or barley industries. After the seeds have been threshed and sold, the dry husks are bundled up and sold as straw. Straw, therefore, is without seeds. Straw saves seedlings. Straw is for mulch!
Have you made the mistake of using hay?