It’s something new we tried with the garden this year. Derek had researched that laying a down news paper and covering it with hay or grass clippings reduces weeds significantly.
The hubs hard at work. Since I was already all tuckered out from working that day, I sat outside as his photographer and cheer leader. After a while, we found that laying the paper became tedious and unneeded extra work. Laying the grass down thickly did the job just fine — and required less bending.
Thankfully, we rent on a acreage where Derek can mow freely and use the grasses that are left over. Derek raked it all into piles, let it dry, and loaded the truck by hand. I tell you, it might seem like a lot of work, but boy does it pay off!
Where grass and straw had been laid, we had hardly any weeding at all to do in those rows at first. Once the plants got established, we had none. One hardworking afternoon of laying down hay definitely outweighs the hours of weekly weeding that would have happened.
It made the plants much happier to boot! Since the hay also doubles as a mulch, it kept more of the moisture in and protected the plants. Many of the plants grew double as big as those without the mulch and the sweet potatoes turned out huge!!
Derek plans next year to make the garden as self sustaining as possible using a combo of landscaping fabric and mulching with hay and grass. When it 1 man against 3 acres of garden, hay and other tips become unspeakably helpful!