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What's the best type of straw to use?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MJStrain, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    I've a couple of questions for you. First off, what kind of straw is best to put down on a newly seeded lawn (i.e. leaves the fewest weed seeds)? Secondly how many bales would you use per 1,000 sq. ft.?:confused:
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    First suggestion, MJS, is to put your location in your profile, so when you ask a question, the people answering can have an idea of where in the country (or world) you are. Solutions to many questions depend on your location.

    Get the cleanest straw you can find (best threshed). Fresh straw will only contain wheat seed, and we haven't been able to get straw free of that for 20 years around here. If you get something that has been sitting around for months, some weed seed could have landed on the bales. You're gonna have a ton of weed seeds in and on your dirt, anyway; weeds in the straw are not a major concern.

    For depth, again depends on site circumstances. On a non-irrigated spring seeding, you go up to 8" deep with the straw, to keep moisture in and prevent any erosion; of course, you have to go back after germination and remove most of this, so the new grass gets light to grow. General rule of thumb, spread straw so that 1/2 of dirt is visible through it. This will give you basic erosion control and retain some moisture. It will also not be too obvious after the grass is growing well; it will decay on its own by next summer. At this rate, you get about 1000 ft² per bale. But then, is a northern Indiana bale the same size as your area's bale? :confused:
  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Look around for the bagged mulch hay. Its about 3X more expensive than reg. bales, but worth it. Its sterilized and mulched.
  4. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Posts: 117

    Get salt hay. Mulch to a uniform depth of 1 - 2 inches. 1 bale per M sounds about right.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    i like wheat straw. the key for me is use enough seed an straw. dont have the hydroseeder or nothin but in right conditions i can get a good stand .
    enough mulch to hold moisture and enough seed to alow for that, that dont land in a good spot..little help from nature
    is a necessity.this the part thats like farming . any farmer will tell u hes in a constant gamble.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    I usually like the big ones, like from McDonalds!:D
    Sorry, I couldn't resist! Seriously though, I think GroundKprs hit it pretty well. What I like to do, anymore, is just get the bales of hydro mulch, and spread it dry. Works well. I CAN tell you this, though... One time, I bought a bale of the blown insulation material from Home Depot, (Shredded newspaper) and figured that would work. It DOESN'T! While the seed germinated, the grass would grow to a little less than an inch, and die off. I think there is something in that stuff, like the fire retardent, that does this.
  7. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    Thanks for the advice. I'm in Kansas, the bales here are about 100 lb.

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