Asked May 22, 2020, 11:49 AM EDT

For a vegetable garden, how deep should I make straw mulch? In years past I have made it around 4-6 inches deep but the seeds in the straw sprout. Is straw the best thing to use?

Fayette County Kentucky

1 Response

There are a number of thins that can be used as mulch in the vegetable garden, and straw being a popular one. However, we would recommend around 2" deep, 3" at the most. As far as seeds in the straw sprouting, that is one factor that is always a possibility. Some bales of straw can be what we call 'dirty' and have lots of weed seeds in it. Others or more 'clean' and contain fewer seeds. Consider putting down a few sheets of newspaper first then laying your straw on top of that. This allows the newspaper to act as the actual 'mulch' and the straw just helping hold it down and serve as a secondary layer. For any further questions, please feel free to call us at the Fayette Extension Office at (859) 257-5582. Thanks!