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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Garden and Landscape

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Hay instead of straw

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2009-03-27          161473


Ive got several round bales of first cut grass hay in the back of the barn that are going on 3 yrs old. These are too old to feed,even though they are dry and clean. Question is,is there any reason why I cant use them over a new lawn instead of straw?

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Hay instead of straw

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2009-03-27          161475


I have to clean up hay and straw around feeders and pens every winter. I spread it out to compost on my pasture. Come spring, grass grows right up through the straw. The hay on the other hand, smothers the grass. Not permanently, but it must decompose a couple of months longer before eventually promoting growth. I personally wouldn't use it on a lawn.

Besides. If you unroll a few layers, you might get down to something still suitable for livestock.

//greg// ....

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Hay instead of straw

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-03-28          161478


Unless you're just looking for a reason to use the hay, you really don't have to use a straw. Straw is sued to diffuse rain to reduce washouts on slopes, and help retain moisture. I get clients that insist, nay demand, straw go over a new lawn--mostly cityslicker types that saw it on a home improvement show or on the Web. They change their mind when a. the hear the extra cost and b. the mess when it blows around onto the neighbors' yards. ....

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Hay instead of straw

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2009-03-28          161491


Up here in Mancelona, its all blow sand. If we dont straw it,we cant keep it damp,and there is still a fair ammount of luck involved with weather.I guess I'll just pitch the hay and buy straw!On the other hand , what if I ran it thru a chipper first? Would that break it up enough to be ok? ....

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Hay instead of straw

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2009-03-28          161499


Quote:
Originally Posted by trbomax | view 161491
what if I ran it thru a chipper first? Would that break it up enough to be ok?
Unless it's bone dry, I doubt it. You'd probably get clumps, which would do as I described happens on my pasture. If you have access to a chipper though, it won't hurt to experiment. But I don't think it's worth renting one to find out.

//greg// ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Hay instead of straw

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-03-29          161502


Mancelona, MI?

If you shred it, you will be defeating your original purpose. IMHO it will be like spreading cow dung (minus running it through the dung maker) which will suffocate any growth. If anything I would compost it. Heap it and let it decompose on its own, then ammend the soil with it.

Another thought: straw doesn't have much seed---hay however does. Do you really want hay for a lawn? ....

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Hay instead of straw

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-03-30          161523


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_g | view 161475
I have to clean up hay and straw around feeders and pens every winter. I spread it out to compost on my pasture. Come spring, grass grows right up through the straw. The hay on the other hand, smothers the grass. Not permanently, but it must decompose a couple of months longer before eventually promoting growth. I personally wouldn't use it on a lawn. Besides. If you unroll a few layers, you might get down to something still suitable for livestock.//greg//


Greg that makes sense as straw is dry or dead when baled where as hay was not when cut. ....

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Hay instead of straw

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-03-30          161551


Its bone dry,been off the ground in my barn for 2 yrs!I bought this at $30/bale,I guess I'll fined someone that will use it and buy straw!

Yes Mancelona , Mi,starvation lake, to be exact. ....

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Hay instead of straw

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2009-04-01          161596


It's nutritional value has dropped by about 67% over three years. For feed any buyer would be better off buying new. ....

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Hay instead of straw

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-04-01          161627


Have no doubt your hay is dry. Only tying to help point out the difference between hay and straw. It has been told to me this shows way past the baling. But a very simple question, can you not use hay just at a lower amount than straw? In our area we don't use straw on fresh seeding lawns or if so very very very seldom. Use a good bit of hay or straw in bays to control water in new ditches to prevent erosion. ....

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Hay instead of straw

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-04-11          161953


I know its way down on nutritional value,but I thought it was only about 20%/yr.Anyway thats why I was just going to use it on the new grass.Sounds like a bad idea though,so straw it is. ....

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