Mad As An Old Wet Hen

That’s the phrase my grandmother used all the time to describe one of her sisters.  I’m not kidding when I say that every story she told about my great-aunt ended with this phrase.  She obviously had quite a temper and, although I never witnessed one of those tantrums, I treaded lightly around her.

That’s how I am feeling today about straw.

Yes, straw.

For years, I have used straw as a mulch.  I liked the way it looked, it was easy for me to haul around, and did a good job suppressing weeds.

Last year, the straw seemed to have a lot of grass seed in it.  This year it was full of grass seed.

grass straw grass straw

So I have spent the better part of the summer pulling grass from my mulch.

Not happy.

My happy place had turned into a grassy place.  No LOLing here.

Every time I would start on a section I would get more and more frustrated.  So I did what most of us would do.  I turned to Facebook.  Within minutes of asking for suggestions about mulch in our gardening group, I was directed to a local guy who bales pine straw.  Several in our Master Gardener group use him as well as our local botanical garden.

So I gave him a call and he met me the same day.  He had six bales left and I was able to get all of them in my truck.  They were lightweight and very easy to work with and in a matter of a couple of hours, I was done.

My happy place was back.

pine straw

impatiens, pine straw

flower  bed

allium cernum

flower bed, allium, black eyed susan, coreopsis

I know any mulch is not weed proof, but I’m hoping to have better luck with this.

What is your favorite mulch?


About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas, Farm life, Flowers, Garden, Mulch, summer flowers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Mad As An Old Wet Hen

  1. I usually use cocoa mulch or grass clippings, sometimes cedar in the front yard, but I never got to that this year. I was wondering if your hens would help you with weeding the grass. If only they could just eat that and not the rest of the plants, lol.


    • I use grass clippings when I can but I have so much to mulch I have to resort to other means. I’ve never tried cocoa mulch and have never seen a source for it around here. The hens have been in the wild blackberries for weeks. They have no interest in anything else right now not even bugs!


  2. sage_brush says:

    My favorite mulch is shredded leaves.


  3. bittster says:

    What a difference that made! I’ve come close to buying wood mulch, but have been too cheap. Maybe I’ll raid the leaves and stuff that have been dumped in the woods, I’m sure my neighbors will give me ‘the look’ but my beds will appreciate it 😉


  4. Dawn says:

    Hi Brenda! I like to use cypress mulch in my flower beds. It has been a great weed preventer and I love the look! Have a great week in the garden! ♡


  5. Kevin says:

    I don’t really have a favorite mulch — although I do try for non-dyed shredded organic matter. But I now have a favorite new expression! 🙂


  6. Bill says:

    I like to use straw. Pine needles are good but they can make the soil acidic. I only use them around the blueberries.

    Having said that I’ve had the same problem you describe. But in my case it was because the wheat seed hadn’t been removed well from the straw so I was sprouting up wheat seedlings in my garlic bed! That was a paid to remove. I understood the problem of the tares and the wheat much better after that. 🙂


  7. I use bark here as we have few options….but I would be mad too if my mulch caused more work. glad you found a resolution.


  8. The best mulch I’ve ever used is junk alpaca wool. Nothing will grow through it. However, if you get too close with the lawn mower, it will get caught in the blades.


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