Yes, we are here!

At GRIT and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-803-7096 or by email. Stay safe!

Suburban Straw Stories

| 5/28/2010 2:36:12 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaUp until about this time last year I had never given a moment’s consideration to straw. It wasn’t until I received some gardening advice about mulching my tomato plants that I began to consider it, and even then I procrastinated for weeks. My reasons for procrastinating were various: the place where I knew I could get it (which wasn’t, in the end, where I got it) is not on any of my usual routes; I drive a small compact car; and perhaps most of all there was the sense of unease at doing something unfamiliar. But one day I said, enough of all that. I finally bucked up and got serious, and went in search of straw.

I drove out to the out-of-the-way place where I’d seen bales of it for sale, and no one was there. It was about 9:15 on a Saturday morning – too early, apparently. So I made a huge loop back towards the house, with the idea of stopping at the couple of country road nurseries not too far from my house to see if they sold straw. I’d been to the first nursery a number of times and never seen any, but on that day as I pulled into the lot, lo and behold a guy was walking out towards the parking lot carrying a big bale of it!

I asked him if he could get me some straw, and he looked at my car, and then back at me, doubtfully.

“You’re going to put it in that?”

“I can put some in the trunk,” I told him. I opened the trunk and he peered inside. “Could I get two bales in there?” I asked him.

“You might be able to get one in there.”

S.M.R. Saia
6/2/2010 5:16:54 AM

Hi Pam! I really don't know what kind of straw it is...I've never asked. It takes a while to break down though. I did wet the newspaper when I put it down, but it dried right back out again in some of our hot hot days we've already had. We've already hit 100 half a dozen times if not more since the beginning of April. Thanks for reading!

6/1/2010 2:17:54 PM

Hi Shannon, What kind of straw are you using? Down here we use needles from the pine trees or pinestraw for mulch. And lots of it! I have seen spiders, bugs, ants and snakes in the pinestraw but I haven't seen mites. I guess all those other varmits ate the mites, maybe. LOL. I have also used layers of newspapers. I would have a big bucket of water and put the layer of newspaper in the water to wet it good and put it down. Then put a layer of pinestraw over the newspaper. That way the paper is already wet and laid flat. We have a long growing season which means the weeds also have a long growing season. The newspaper and the pinestraw breaks down well after each growing season. Good luck with your garden. It sounds like it is talking your language this year. Have a great day. Pam Life on a Southern Farm

S.M.R. Saia
6/1/2010 5:19:46 AM

Cindy, thanks for the advice about the straw! I need to pick up some more, I'll try laying it down in those tightly packed sheets and see how it works. My garden is pretty much a weed nightmare it seems, no matter what I do. I guess that's what you get when your 'lawn' isn't grass at all anyway, but clover and weeds. They insist on colonizing everything!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me