James Freyr wrote:I do believe hay is going to contain weed seeds, to some degree. Wheat straw will contain a small percentage of wheat seeds. Even if you found 100% seed free hay or straw, airborne seeds will arrive. If it were up to me, I would choose whichever costs less.
James Freyr wrote:Not many people are spraying grasses to harvest for hay.
James Freyr wrote:I guess you could use alfalfa hay. A little off topic, but I believe may be valid, is organics. I'm passionate about growing organic and not using synthetic chemicals. I understand this is a swale and you may not be growing food crops in it, but a lot of poisons are used to grow wheat and alfalfa, unless grown organically. You may or may not be concerned with any residues on the mulch and in the swale and where the water runoff goes. Not many people are spraying grasses to harvest for hay. I'm not suggesting finding "certified" organic straw to use, (I've never seen it, maybe it exists) but I have found straw from a farmer who does not have a certified organic farm, but told me he doesn't use poisons. That was good enough for me for my application. If it's organic alfalfa, give that to chickens and livestock. I think that has too much value to put on the ground as a mulch.
If you mostly have hay around you, perhaps that is the way to go to achieve your goal.
Just a thought. I know everybody has different views when it comes to agricultural methods and inputs, and I certainly never want to imply that I'm telling anyone what to do and how to do it. I just want to give advice and help others if I can.
Ray Cecil wrote: What I am concerned about is seed not germinating, being sown onto the swales and it falls into cracks or spaces between the hard soil clumps.