I’m thinking of using straw as a mulch in the veggie patch next Summer. Does anyone know how much it costs roughly (Apokoronas/Chania area)? If you use a mulch, can you tell me what it is, please? I’d like something for water retention, but also to keep weeding to a minimum, without it costing an arm & a leg!
One advantage of seaweed is that it contains almost no weed seeds, whereas any form of grass/hay will. Likewise for manure, which will seed your garden with unwanted plants. Mind you, in my case, the manure seeded Purslane (Glistrida in Greek), which is an excellent addition to salads!
Hay is called "axiro" in Greek. You can buy a bale of it ("mia bala") for around 7 Euros. The "clover" type is used as animal feed. I don’t know whether there’s any other type here; I’ve only ever seen the green "clover" (trifili) type.
An important addition to any garden, I’m told, is carbon. You can buy sacks of charcoal ("karvouna") in some supermarkets and hardware stores. You should hammer this down into a coarse powder before mixing it with soil. Allegedly it holds the soil nutrients and prevents them from being washed away by rain. On the basis that "it probably won’t do any harm", I’m experimenting with this.
As for mulch, you can take a sickle to any area of grass and hack away till you have filled a few sacks. It’s free!