Laying straw on ground?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, May 20, 2005.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    This past spring, I had a lot of tractor and backhoe work done right behind my place. Now, the ground there is a mess. The biggest problem is that it's extremely rocky here and I now have rocks everywhere. Hardly any dirt anymore --- just rocks. And some weeds.

    I've moved all the biggest rocks, but there's still rocks everywhere. So what I'd like to do is lay down straw all over the messed up area, and just keep doing that til I get soil on top of the rocks again (this all happened after me spending three years getting all the rocks out of that area and getting soil built up).

    Is there any reason I shouldn't do this? And BTW, yes, I know there are tractor attachments which rake out rocks, but I'll be danged if I let anymore big machinery back there. I love my frogs and skinks too much to bother them anymore.
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Hey, straw sounds like a winner to me. But spoiled hay will break down faster. And even better if you get some hay that's been run thru a horse or a cow first! LOL And if you can find someone who does tree trimming offer a free dump site for the wood chips.
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Ooooh, hurray!

    I'm saving the end of my manure laden broke down old straw for two more raised beds (yea, I know :rolleyes: ), but I bet I can find some more from my neighbors. And if not, plain old straw will do.

    Thanks, Kim! :D
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I saw this in print, once.

    Some folks were spreading manure on a cow pasture when the manure spreader broke, and it was almost entirely full.

    They decided to dump it and tow it back. They were right next to a thin, poor patch so they dumped the entire load of manure on the spot of rocky, thin soil.

    That was many years earlier, and it was STILL growing good forage. They explained it by saying that a good stand of grass (from the manure) grows deeper, stronger roots, which improves the soil, which causes better grass, which puts out deeper, stronger roots, and so forth. They said that once grass grows well that it becomes a beneficial cycle. Thje gains were maintained.

    Of course, there were STILL rocks, but they didn't mind the rocks in the pasture.
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Hmmmm, interesting Terri!

    What's been happening here is I've been mowing very frequently and leaving the clippings down, and soil has begun building up on top of the rocks. I could barely get through the back area 2 years ago without breaking the blade. Now ... sure, I still bend the blades, but only every few weeks. :D

    And i can see that grass coming from the manure would grow longer roots. Don't know how to explain but it makes sense. So maybe I should mix in some manure from the side pastures while laying down the straw (trust me --- there's plenty there).