Gardening with salt grass : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello All, I went to the beach today and on the bay side of the beach there was all this straw looking grass on the shore. It looked so much like the straw that I am paying $3.75 a bale for. I gathered 2 blankets full and spread it on my garden where I have been mulching with straw. Do you think this was a good idea? Will the salt grass hurt my plants. I would think it would be good for them. There was algae and seaweed mixed in. Any ideas???? Karole

-- Karole (, June 28, 2000


It is probably what is commonly referred to as salt marsh hay which is perfectly fine to use as mulch on your garden. Algae and seaweed are also very good for the garden but you have to watch that the seaweed doesn't have much salt on it. When I use it, I rinse it first, lay it out to dry, and then put it through the lawn mower to chop it up like I do for leaves and grass clippings.

-- Colleen (, June 28, 2000.

Karole, one of the advantages of salt grass hay is that due to the salt, there generally aren't many weeds (and therefore their seeds) mixed in. It could be the same stuff you're buying. At one time, and if you were willing to pay the shipping, organic gardeners could purchase by mail order salt grass hay. There is some risk of salt buildup in your soil. It depends on a lot of factors, including how much salt is in the hay, how much salt is in your water, how much rain you get and how well it flushes your soil. While being "the salt of the earth" is a good thing, salting the ground was a way for advancing armies to destroy a population by destroying their farm land. It primarily happens today when land is irrigated. There just isn't enough irrigation water applied to flush the soil, nor is there enough natural rain to do it. But it takes time for this to happen. If you're worried about salt, local gardeners or your extension office should be able to tell you how to mitigate the damage and perhaps where to send in an occasional soil sample to check that salt isn't building up on you. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, July 03, 2000.

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