I mentioned my dilemma about the straw bales. Did I have the right fertilizer? For that matter, did I have the right bales? We bought them from two different places last fall, and it seemed like one might have labeled the bales Straw when they were really Hay.
Hay? Straw? I’m a city girl, despite my green thumb and green attitude. I didn’t know straw from hay. So I did what a good virtual teacher does; I asked a student and her family for advice.
My students live all over Wisconsin, and several live on farms. I asked about the bales, describing the one set as looking straw-like and the other growing like a Chia Pet.
I learned that straw is what’s left over after the wheat is harvested and removed from the stalk, and hay is a grass. Yep, that’s it. I can extend this to say I learned not to buy a bale of “straw” at a grocery store. Uh-huh. This batch was left over from a fall display, so the store sold them off for a few bucks each. The rest are from a garden center. I know where I’ll go if I need a set of straw bales again.
Meanwhile, I took time to yank most of the growth from the hay bales. They’ll still work for planting; I just might have to weed them more often than not. And that’s alright. Weeding, after all, is therapeutic, too.