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Green Thumb
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: Sacramento, California

To hay or not to hay??!

Hello - so my garden has exploded and I have never been happier!!! I do have a question though...
I have watermelons and squash growing and I have heard of putting "hay" underneith the fruit to keep it from getting damp.
So I have been online and looking around and (not being of the farming type) I have no idea what the differences are between all these types of hay and such and well honestly I just want to know what the best kind is to get for this?



Oh and just because I am posting pics, check out my carrots! Not quite ready but had to thin to make room for all of them!


Thanks for all of your help!!!

Senior Member
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Personally I just put some newspaper or a piece of cardboard under my melons.
Nice looking carrots! I am so jealous! Something ate most of my carrot greens!

Thomas CA
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: San Pedro, CA

you can also place a paper plate underneath the melons.

Senior Member
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:50 pm
Location: Southern California

I was wondering the same thing too. My watermelons just started growing right now I have them perched up on some rocks. Not sure if that's ok but I rather them be off the ground then on the moist soil. Nice carrots, I wonder if mine are done.

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Green Thumb
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: Sacramento, California

Paper it is! I had heard bad things about slugs and paper, but that's why I have the snail bait stuff... at the beginning of the season slugs ate all of my flowers and had started on the beans...

The carrots are a bit green still, they look great but the flavor just isn't quite there. A few more weeks and they should be perfect!

Thanks for the compliments! I am beyond excited at the fact that my first garden is producing so many wonderful things!!! And to think I almost gave up!!!

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I suspect that putting the slug bait UNDER the paper will do wonders. They'll gather underneath so give them something to party on. :wink:

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

I would think that some type of rubber or plastic mat would be even better as it wouldn't hold water.

In general, hay is the first cutting of a crop (alfalfa, timothy, oat, etc.) and straw is the second cutting.

Hay tends to be solid, has weed seed, and breaks down faster--adding nitrogen to the soil.

Straw is hollow, has less weed seed, and breaks down slower, some consider it a "brown" in compost terms while others consider it a "green." Personally, I think it depends on the type you get.

If I had to choose either/or.....something just makes me want to go with a thick mat of straw beneath the melon.

Needing a mat for your squash is always a good problem to have :wink:.

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