Where can I buy salt marsh hay?
Salt marsh hay requires the saltwater tidal changes to germinate and grow, and your garden isn’t a salt marsh. You can find salt marsh hay at garden centers through the Northeast. Buy it early because it disappears from the market by late fall.
Where does salt hay grow?
Saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens), also known as salt hay, is a native species of spartina grass that grows in the upper areas of the intertidal zone along the eastern coast of North America. Growing in thick masses, salt hay reaches a height of 1 to 2 feet.
What is salt hay used for?
Salt hay grass was harvested for bedding and fodder for farm animals and for garden mulch. Before hay was bailed and stored under cover, salt hay grass was used to top the hay stacks in the fields. Many of the salt marshes in Rhode Island have been severely affected by filling, development, and road construction.
Does salt marsh hay have seeds?
Its seeds have not been harvested for other uses, so this common hay often is full of seeds that would germinate into weeds if used as mulch in a garden. Even though it is a type of hay and has seeds, salt marsh grass seeds will not germinate because they require salty marsh soils in order to do so.
Why are salt marshes important?
Why Are Tidal Marshes Important? Salt marshes certainly play a critical role in the aquatic food web, but they can also protect cities and towns from coastal flooding by absorbing the influx of water during storm surges and providing buffers between the sea and homes and businesses.
What is marsh grass called?
cordgrass, (genus Spartina), also called marsh grass, or salt grass, genus of 16 species of perennial grasses in the family Poaceae. Cordgrasses are found on marshes and tidal mud flats of North America, Europe, and Africa and often form dense colonies.
What is marsh hay?
Salt marsh hay is a coastal crop, a special product of the eastern United States. The grass is harvested in early July through the fall until the salt marshes freeze solid. In Colonial times, salt marsh hay was harvested as a valuable crop and used for animal fodder and bedding, as well as mulch for gardens.
What is salt haying?
The harvesting of salt hay was a complex process, involving special tools and small teams of workers. If a salt meadow was accessible by land, a hayer would drive a horse or oxen-drawn haycart to the meadow, where he would mow, rake, and then bunch the grass.
Is salt hay a good mulch?
Salt hay, or salt marsh hay, consists of grasses harvested from salt marshes. Their wiry stems do not mat down or rot as quickly as straw, and any seeds that are present will not germinate because they require wet, saline soil. Where it is available, salt hay is the best choice for mulching.
What type of hay is best for mulch?
Aside from well-aged compost, hay is arguably the best mulch for a vegetable garden. Like straw, it’s a good insulator, effective against weeds, and breaks down quickly to enrich the soil. Alfalfa hay is especially good, because as a legume, it provides nitrogen to your soil.
What does a salt marsh look like?
salt marsh, area of low, flat, poorly drained ground that is subject to daily or occasional flooding by salt water or brackish water and is covered with a thick mat of grasses and such grasslike plants as sedges and rushes.
What eats salt marsh plants?
Mammals come too, drawn by the abundant seeds and leaves of the marsh plants or by the other animals. Pygmy mice, rats and nutria come for the plant matter while coyotes and raccoons come to eat other mammals, fish and invertebrates.