Lucerne Hay. Can I use something else instead of Lucerne hay for mulch?

What is Lucerne hay? Where can I get it and can I use a substitute when I build my no-dig garden?

Megan replies...
Suppliers to horse stables, or racing/pony clubs would be your first call for bludging or buying lucerne hay; or ask them where they get their lucerne hay for their horses from. Any sort of farmer suppliers should help, garden centers and also search the web for local suppliers or garden supplies.

Don't worry if you can't find some. Lucerne hay (sometimes called Alfalfa) can be substituted with anything that is friable but rich in nitrogen. Straw mixed with grass clippings, mulched garden material, etc.

As long as it's organic, will rot quickly and will add to the nitrogen content in the soil underneath. It's just that lucerne hay is so brilliant and pea straw is next in line.

Lucerne hay rots in about 6 months or so, (pea straw much sooner) and usually the poorer quality is sold for mulch. Poor hay is fine for mulch, but not so good for horses. Also chaffed lucerne is sold for mulch after extracting any seed heads for horse and cattle food.

Other types of hay or straw often have too many seeds in them, which may sprout at the wrong time, giving you a bit of work to do.

I've used shredded corn stalks, dried seaweed, twigs, coffee grounds, grass clippings, leaves and mixtures of sawdust and other things for mulch.
~ Megan

Comments for Lucerne Hay. Can I use something else instead of Lucerne hay for mulch?

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Mar 07, 2009
That's answered my question well too!
by: Sev

Great information, now I don't feel so worried about getting it all right the first time. I'm starting to look around my area where I live and notice the possibilities of all the different materials I can use in the garden now. Thanks. Sev.

Mar 08, 2009
Leaves are free and good
by: Bianca

I use leaves. There are great piles that blow into the side of the local park. I mix them with cut grass and some pine needles from our place and it makes fantastic mulch. Hope that helps. Bia

Mar 12, 2009
hmmm about hay
by: annitta

One bundle of hay on the Kenai Peninsula costs around 12.00 and believe me it is not the good stuff-sigh.

I am glad that the cheaper hay can be used. As for the poor horses who have to endure -25 degree weather with wind factor outside with ice encrusted muzzles, (they actually survive this weather and those horses lucky enough to have lean-to or barn, usually will not go into them).

Oh good grief, i got off the subject--old women do that you know.

Anyway, love this site and will try this form of gardening in our too short season.

Nikolaevsk Alaska

Dec 14, 2009
by: tanzeel ahmad sheikh

somebody suggested me for hair fall solution whit combination of this real home redemy.

Apr 12, 2010
by: kathy

Go to and he explains the layering method to gardening with lucrene hay,I di buy his e-book but it is well worth the investment for a garden that will produce even in the coldest or hotest weather

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