Sunday, October 19, 2008

For the Lack of Salt Marsh Hay

This year has been a little strange. My favorite little gardening center is going out of business. In the spring they didn't have as much variety as usual. The worst part was that they didn't have the salt marsh hay that I usually use as a mulch. They had something silly called Mainely Mulch - which I might point out is not from Maine despite the name. It is from Connecticut.

It is chopped hay that has been heated to get rid of the weed seeds. Sigh. I did unhappily buy it since I was lacking another choice at the time. I spread it on my garden paths. The seeds in it did sprout, but I have to say I was happy about it. They were clover and grass - basically cover crops. My dog loved the grass seed (oats or rye maybe), so she ate it all down. And the clover grew. And it grew some more. Right now it covers the edge of my paths making my garden look lusher than it otherwise would. It is trying to go to seed, but I'm resisting it, snipping the pretty purple flowers off as they grow.

I actually wouldn't mind my paths going into clover permanently, but I think dutch clover would be better. It is so much shorter. I need a new source of salt marsh hay. I'll have to keep my eye open.


  1. That stinks that they don't carry the type of hay you like anymore. Wahoo for getting a "free" cover crop out of the deal though!

  2. Hmmm - what it salt marsh? Is it similar to hay? I don't think I've ever come across it.

    My dog has been eating grass like crazy. I was worried but the vet said it should be okay if I'm not using pesticides and her digestion seems okay. Now I'm wondering if I should start putting a bit of salad aside for her!

  3. I am just trying to encourage more red clover to grow in my garden in order to harvest the flowers for tea or some other interesting looking recipes in this ancient book I found about wild recipes. Hopefully, I won't regret it ;-)

    P.S. One of my favourite books is also Ender's Game.

  4. Salt marsh hay is a local product here. It is the hay cut from the salt marsh. Its strength is that the seeds won't grow on dry land. So think hay without weed seeds.

    And my dog so loves eating grass. We don't poison the yard so it is relatively safe. I say relatively because in the spring when they aren't used to it they can get upset stomachs. She loves the cover crop grasses more than the lawn or the weed grasses.

    And I was just throwing the flowers away? You can make tea from them? Maybe I'll look into that.

  5. That's really sad that private nurseries are going out of business. The clover in my garden is so deeply rooted, (it looks like a different type than yours, with smaller leaves), but it's the devil to pull out.