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Monday, June 04, 2012

Judo in the garden

Gardeners: move hay or straw with care. I'm 63, and a ninety pound (40+ kilo) bale is too much for me to throw around any more -- so I use a combination of judo and a hay hook to wrestle them onto and off a stout hand truck. When the hook is in transit, turn it outward, as you would an ax blade, to avoid unscheduled trips to the emergency room at your friendly hospital. Straw beats hay in the mulch garden: fewer seeds, more hollow stems (these aerate soil). If you get a lot of seeds in wheat straw you can let chickens pick through it before use as mulch (they'll add nitrogen, too) or just let the stuff sprout and then flip the sheaves upside down.


  1. Lovely bales. Around here they seem to be getting smaller and smaller. I used oat straw once for mulch (a long time ago), but had a terrible time with the oat grass that followed. No chickens then; good idea about flipping it. I may have to give straw another try because I'm in desperate need of mulch.

  2. Speaking of "stout" it looks like Ruth had some influence in your gardening techniques? And just so you know one of those bales is up over $16 in my neck of the woods. I still buy some but use wood chips everywhere I can. (they are free)

  3. Anonymous9:22 AM



  4. Yes, Ruth. We read her in the early 70s. We're told what we're doing does not work here but we've done it for over three decades. The stuff is cheaper than that here but we use everything we can get our hands on, mostly grass clippings and twiggy bits.


Stony Run Farm: Life on One Acre

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