I was assigned a community garden plot this year. The soil is not terrible but could use help. I added some compost when I first planted. I want to mulch the vegetables and don't know the best mulch to use. At home, I mulch with compost. I have read that oat straw is good but, of course, hay (with potential seeds) is not. What are your recommendations? Also, if oat straw is the best, who sells it?
Washington County Oregon
Thank you for your question. Here is a good Extension article on organic material recommendations, for soil improvement, water retention and weed suppression: https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/Extension-Master-Gardener/improvinggardensoilswithcomposting.pdf This Extension publication might be a good resource, too: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9027. You probably have lots of potential mulches already. Wheat straw, unlike hay, does not have seeds, and is plentiful. I just did an Internet search for ‘hay Oregon,’ and there are many sources under the ‘shopping’ tab. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!