Hay as a winter protection for perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Lower Gwynedd, Pe
Question by apricottree
October 24, 2010
Should I use hay to protect my perennials for the winter? How much should I layer them and how?


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Answer from NGA
October 24, 2010

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I'd use straw rather than hay as a garden mulch. Hay can contain seeds which will sprout when the weather warms in the spring. Straw does not contain seeds and therefore is a cleaner mulch material. After your first frost killes the herbacious perennials back, cut off the dead stems and foliage and lay the mulch 3-4 inches thick over the tops of your perennials. For woody perennials, don't cover the tops of the plants but do lay a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the bases of the plants. Good luck with your garden.

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