Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ofsailsnbales, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Ofsailsnbales

    Ofsailsnbales Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Hello all,
    I only use a few dozen (rectangular) bales of hay each winter, so I wanted to try and cut some of my own this summer. I'll be doing it with a hand tool, and wanted to know if I could use a machete? Specifically, this machete: http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&pf_id=11.436.5&dept_id=13269 I'll be purchasing the machete anywayregardless, but if I don't need to buy a grass sickle I'd like to save the money. So my question really is: Do I need to use a sickle or can I use a machete efficiently? (I'll be buying this sickle if I can't rely on the machete to cut what I need: http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&pf_id=17.200.210&dept_id=13269 )
  2. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    So do you like crawling around on you hands and knees? The handles on both of those are too short for haying. Need to find one that is ment for haying.

  3. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Spruce Grove, Alberta
    Well, I admire your enthusiasm, but a few dozen square bales translates into at least an acre and a half of hayland (that's my best guess based on our hay production). Imagine crawling around an acre and a half slashing hay! We hay the 1940's way with an old tractor and a sickle mower and we gather the hay loose and store it. I can tell you how much work that is over 1.5 acres let alone doing the cutting by hand. A sickle would be a minimum and you will need a lot of help gathering in order to get it in before a rain. I'm not trying to appear pessimistic, but in the old days they had all day everyday along with a bunch of kids to help out. Good luck though with whatever you do.
  4. seymojo536

    seymojo536 Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    If you really want to cut your own hay by hand then you need the proper equipment. A short handled tool is really no tool at all in this case. Here's a site that can give you all the info you need to put up hay by hand. http://www.scythesupply.com/index.htm
    I did about 2 acres last year by hand, just to give my kids an ideal of how it used to be done. Don't want them to think this farming thing is all just riding around on a tractor. I must confess that I used a string trimmer on some of it just to see if it would speed up the cutting (it didn't).My opinion is to get the best scythe you can afford, learn how to sharpen it properly and maybe find a local old-timer who can teach you how to use it.