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Do you leave the straw?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Branchland, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    When you straw a bare area or whole yard do you leave the straw to rote away? I always do but have had people in the past to question that. So far I've gotten pretty good results from leaving it. But have one yard this year I've noticed still has bare areas. Not sure if it's from the rotting straw.
  2. Mico Landscaping design

    Mico Landscaping design LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    eventually take it out.. after a month or two take it out..... get most of it with a light rake... watch it you might start pullin the roots to the grass.. the mower will take care of the rest.. thats my to sense :cool2: payup
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    You need to remove it.As straw chemically breaks down, it actually draws nitrogen from the surrounding area.Also the longer straw is in direct contact with the ground, the more weed seeds you are likely to have germinate.Fianlly, there's nothing more I hate than pulling up to an estimate for lawn renovation, and seeing about 40 bales of straw matted down in the yard from the previous contractor. The chaff from continuously cutting the straw is unsightly and will spread weed seeds as well. Just my .02...
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    MY 2 cents is to bag the first mowing and forget about the straw. If the straw has weed seeds in it then they are already in your lawn and removing the straw isnt going to help that much. I also wouldnt worry to much about the straw removing nitrogen when it rotts. It will also put the same nitrogen back into the soil in a slow release form as well as any Pand K and other nutrients the straw contains. The ony reason to bag the first mowing is to make the appearance better, but if you mulch as you mow the straw will be gone soon enough anyways. Straw actually contains a pretty good amount of starch/sugar which will help feed the micro organisms that will benefit the new lawn. As the microorganisms eat the starch they turn it into a nitrogen source to feed the new grass.
  5. I believe alot depends on how much was applied when lawn seed. The correct amount is 1 to 1.5 bales/m, so 50% of soil is visable. If too much strawwas applied, which usually is the case, I believe it needs to be removed!
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Good point Tim, you can get to much of a good thing.
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Never have removed it and never would. Put on correctly straw decomposes quickly and as mentioned acts as an organic fert. Raking off the first year tears out and disturbs to many new grass sprouts and if seeded properly should not be seen, and by the second yr its broken down enough that its a waste of time IMO after doing thousands of new lawns. This is said with the thought that it was blown on and not shook by hand. If put down by hand disregard the above.

  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Been hand spreading straw over new seed for 30 years, and been selling it for 25 years. Never once removed any straw. You would only achieve cosmetic results by removing straw properly applied (timturf's specs above), whether spread by hand or machine.
  9. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I no longer remove the straw. I have in the past and just felt I was pulling up too much new grass.
  10. My experience, is most of time the straw has been put down WAY TOO heavy!

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