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Author Topic: chopping straw  (Read 3565 times)


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
chopping straw
« on: January 16, 2012, 12:36:42 pm »
Goodness knows if this is the right place to post this one.

Chopping straw .. I don't know where to put this one as it could fit into so many forum areas.

Have any of you used a garden shredder to reduce dry or wet baled straw to  into small bits for bedding or compost ?  If so what was the result ? What if any were the pitfalls ?

I want to chop up wet or dry straw up into tiny bits so I can add it to my  rotating  compost making barrel as a source of carbon to make quality compost quickly .
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: chopping straw
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 01:50:15 pm »
Best thing is to try it! :)


  • Guest
Re: chopping straw
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 05:42:36 pm »
as kids, we worked on a farm and had to cut hay and straw into tiny pieces for chaff. we had a proper chaff cutter which involved someone stuffing hay/straw in one end the other person pushing the wheel/cutter. it use to take us hours and got u very fit - no health and safety then - none of us realised how close ur fingers were to the blade!
i broke 2 shredders in quick succession so would be dubious bout putting straw in it.


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: chopping straw
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 07:41:08 pm »
Nice one Sylvia  :bouquet:,
Rather than jumping in feet first I thought I'd try and stand on the shoulders of giants so to speak  and follow in the footsteps of someone who had made it through the minefield before spending my megre old age pension on something I'd have little else use for .

 After reading PP's post , I recall those chaff cutters and beet graters well ...with the massive3 foot cutting wheels and flywheels. 

Dad told us it didn't do any favours to the young farm cat when it jumped in the hopper after the last bit of mangol that was flicking around as he was winding the grater hard with his head down and getting a fair sweat on .

WRT PP's experience ... I think I'll do a bit of searching on line to see if there are any sorts of electric driven garden mulchers rather than shredders never know your luck

 Thanks ladies  :thumbsup:
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country


  • Joined Oct 2009
Chopping straw
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 08:13:03 pm »
Have no idea of your setup or health/fitness etc , but why chop it up ?
 If you have access to horses , you could mix some crap with it , pile it up , leave it for 4 or 5 days , then turn the heated heap into a new heap , leave another 4 or 5 days till it heats up again , then turn the heap again. 4 or 5 turns and you have compost !
Anyway , if you must chop it up ? , don't chop it too fine as it will most likely form a dense clump that won't rot .
 3" to 6" is small enough , and mix it well with manure (if poss?) and waste veg , as well as grass cuttings . Soak the straw before you add it to the tumbler/heap , but after you chop it up.
Water will do for soaking , but as much pee as you can produce will really boost the speed of  breakdown . Take care if you are on medication though , as some meds pass through the system and can be dangerous in compost , if it doesn't heat up enough to break them down !
Good luck !



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