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Author Topic: Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA
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Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA    (Posted Thu, Jul 5 '12 at 02:36 UTC)

I'm in Henrico VA and am looking for organic straw/hay for my garden.

Erica Gray
 Precision John
Re: Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA    (Posted Mon, Dec 30 '13 at 12:02 UTC)

Do yourself a favor, and do not use hay or straw in your garden, organic or otherwise. All hay and straw is loaded with weed seeds, which you will end up introducing into your garden. Many of the unwanted weeds, are of the grass type, and once introduced, are almost impossible to eliminate.
I use shredded leaves as mulch, which have no weed seeds.
John Lynch, Silver Maples Farm, Hillsville, VA

John S. Lynch
Re: Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA    (Posted Mon, Dec 30 '13 at 06:23 UTC)

John - You are cutting off your nose to spite your face. You get weed seeds from a variety of sources - bird/animal poop and wind for instance. You are giving up a wonderful source of mulch and compost by not using hay or straw. Weeds are just a fact of life. You can take the hit in production or weed by hand. Neither of them are that onerous. I am currently over 8000 pounds of production from 80 kinds of crops on .66 aces and only 1000 hours labor and 12 gallons gasoline in my tillers. I weed when I can, but use other management techniques to minimize the impact.

Catering to the unique Ferndale perspective.
 Precision John
Re: Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA    (Posted Mon, Dec 30 '13 at 08:13 UTC)

A friend of mine once gave me 5 bales of straw. A month later the top of each bale of "straw" was covered with a thick carpet of grass, all from the weed contained in the so called "straw". I use woven black plastic and shredded leaves for mulch and weed control, not to say I do not have any weeds, as I have plenty. But anything done to reduce the introduction of unwanted weeds, is a plus in my opinion. Take a walk through any hay field, prior to mowing, and you will get my point. There is also the matter of various chemicals used on hay fields, including some herbicides. It is suggested not to use lawn clippings from chemically treated lawns, it is the same with chemically treated hay fields, as well. I just plat it safe and avoid any mulch material that may contain excessive amounts of unwanted weed seeds. J.L. Silver Maples Farm, Hillsville, VA

John S. Lynch
 Laurel Highlands PA
Re: Wanted organic straw/hay ~ VA    (Posted Mon, Dec 30 '13 at 10:44 UTC)

Well made hay and straw can be very weed free.. what you are probably seeing is sprouting barley or wheat....

When wheat or barley is combined off a field, what is chopped and left behind is baled up into straw, seed heads will remain. These crops are chopped off in late spring well before any summer annuals really come into head.

My alfalfa fields are certified organic and weed free up until about late august in my 3rd cutting when annual rye or foxtail start to show up.

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