Need coveage estimates for bale of straw

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by cleancutccl, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    Estimating some lawn seedings and want an estimate for how much coverage I can get out of a 42"x24"x28" bale of straw. My calculations are saying around 300 square feet @ 1" thick. Of course these are calculations and not the real thing, does anyone have hands on experience with using a straw blower and the coverage they can get from that size bale of straw?

    Thanks for any replies.
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    You will get better coverage using a straw blower than shaking by hand. My minimum application rate, using a blower, is one bale per 1000 sqft. Anything less and you just dont get coverage. Hot weather and I will increase to 2 bales per M. For erosion control I dont use straw. A lot also depends on the size of the bales. I usually get good 40-50 lb bales but have gotten bales that weigh a lot less. Weight of the bale is more important than size. A large, loosely packed bale can weigh less than a smaller, tightly packed bale.
  3. newhort

    newhort LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    It depends on how tight they bale it. I just count on 500 sf.
  4. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I don't have any experience with a straw blower, but have A LOT of experience with baling the stuff. The coverage you will get is obviously in proportion to the amount of straw in the bale. The baler makes one size of bale, and depending on how tight you crank down the baler, you will have more or less straw in the bale. This # will defineatly vary from source to source for the straw. Where are you getting the straw from? If it is from a farm I know (I have worked w/ and for a bunch in the area, LOVE baling hay and straw) I could at least help you with a weight of bale maybe.
  5. bubbazx11

    bubbazx11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    an advrage bail will cover 300 sq. ft.
  6. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    now around here i find all kinds of straw. i have bought thoasands of bales over the past 3 years. if you get lowes/home depot straw it will ussually be very small and not cover much. and some farmers make short bales and long bales and tight and loose. so there is no way to say what the will cover but i think i can give you some ideas.

    well if you are hand shaking some times you get good straw that has been combineded and it will shake apart very well and cover the ground very evenly and then some you get will be very long and seemed to be tied knots when you try to shake it will lump very baddly, it is the pita straw. now the good straw you can cover an acare 43,540(i think) with about 95-110 and the pita straw will take 120-130 and will be a very lumpy coverage. both of these being avarage bales not really tightly packed big bales or small loose

    then if you are blowing straw the straw doesn't matter as much but it should take about 60-80 per acare

    so hand shaking works out to around a bale to 350-500 sqft
    and blowing a bale to around 750 sqft

    this is just in my area as always thing are diff all over
    and i do own a blower and blow alot of straw
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    gammon, you didnt just call an agri metal a straw blower did ya??

    Just kidding!!!

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Coverage depends on the weight as well as the size of the bale. Those Lowes and Walmart bales are a ripoff. They sell them around here for $3.95 a bale. I can get good heavy bales at the local feed store for $4 a bale. Not much difference in price but a lot of difference in coverage. It will take two Lowes straw bales to cover what one of the good bales will cover. Good coverage is usually around 2-3000 lbs per acre with straw. Using 40 lb bales one should cover an acre with approx 50 bales as a minimum coverage and 75 bales will give you 3000 lbs per acre. Since the blowers chop the straw you will get better coverage blowing than with scattering by hand, simply because the clumps and lumps are eliminated.

    Hay is actually a better mulch than the rye or wheat straw, has to do with the carbon/nitrogen ratio. Problem with hay is all the unwanted weed seeds, but for road bank seeding hay is usually cheaper, (at least in my area), as well as a better material to use since weeds are usually not a concern.

    My blower

  8. Stafford Landscaping

    Stafford Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    When I blow straw I usually figure on about 2.5 bales per 1000sqft.
    This give you about to 110 bales per acer. And I also add a few more
    extra because some bales are packed a little tighter than others.
  9. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    If you hand shaker guys regularly spread lots of straw by hand, I think you can see the $$ savings in materials not to mention the labor savings of owning a blower , or at least renting one for large jobs.

    BTW-Mudd, what is on that poor cats' head??LMAO:laugh:
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Just call me Melon head.:drinkup:
    hort101 likes this.

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