Rotten Hay

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hurleyjd
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Rotten Hay

Postby hurleyjd » Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:37 pm

I think I am going to gather the bottom part of the round hay and use in the garden. The older the hay the more rotten the hay is. Looks likd it would be equivalent to any compost out there
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:32 pm

Something tells me that won't work. Hopefully a more knowledgable soil and gardening expert will come by.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:10 pm

Advanced composting focuses on two things:
- managing the carbon nitrogen ratio at the start (by blending fiber with be nice)
- managing the core temperature during the process (by re mixing the pile at the right time)

Your approach will take longer and have viable weeds seeds, but it can still work.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby skyhightree1 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:22 am

hurleyjd wrote:I think I am going to gather the bottom part of the round hay and use in the garden. The older the hay the more rotten the hay is. Looks likd it would be equivalent to any compost out there


The absolute best thing that I have done for a garden is compost horse manure. I would be very reluctant to use hay.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby Jogeephus » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:31 am

You could unroll it and harrow it in but keep in mind its going to require and use nitrogen as it breaks down. Helps to add some nitrogen to it so it will compost faster. I've got a large pile of wood chips and leaves that I throw biodegradable things on then turn it under with the bucket on the tractor.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby hurleyjd » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:45 pm

Let me explain further. When I pick up a roll of net wrapped hay that has been on the ground there is a good bit of rotted hay on the bottom maybe about five gallons. I pull the wrap before entering the feeding area and the rotten hay is in the net like crap in a babies diaper. That is what I was looking at using This is two year old hay.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby Jogeephus » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:14 pm

I cut the bales at the same spot every time and the baby crap you are talking about hits the ground and is later mashed in the ground by the tractor. While there is some hay in this spot it all seems to break down to rich soil in a matter of three months or so. This is where I get my "potting soil" and the grass is always greener there even during droughts. Its good stuff.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby farmerjan » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:50 am

Are you looking to improve just a part of the garden? I use any and all organic matter I can find in the garden. The rotted hay will be great for the soil. Do you mulch the garden? In the spring I have the garden tilled, then plant, and every available open inch gets a layer of mulch. Cardboard, hay, straw, newspapers, grass clippings, you name it. I use alot of feed bags as "walkways" between rows and then put mulch hay on top of them. Only use the ones that don't have that plastic liner inbetween layers. I will put manure on top of a layer of mulch, then put more mulch on top of that for walking purposes in between rows, and it will feed the plants and not burn them. After the garden is done, it helps to protect the ground and in the spring when it is tilled again there usually isn't even a trace of what I have used the year before. There are some weeds, but the mulch suppresses most and the few ones that do come up pull easily as the mulch keeps the soil more moist and cooler and the worms are everywhere. I don't have time to weed and don't like the soil inbetween the plants and rows to be open and exposed to the sun and wind and heat. Don't have a tiller to use between the rows and need to conserve the moisture most years so mulching is the way to go. Keep it thick enough and you can also go out in the garden after a rain and won't have dirt sticking to your feet. In my opinion, add all that you can get.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby farmerjan » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:52 am

I go around in the spring and clean up the hay rows and use all the rotted hay that comes off the bottom of the rolls in the garden. We don't use much net wrap so the bottom layer will stay on the ground if the hay is more than a year old.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby MudHog » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:01 pm

Using the rotten hay will add organic matter to the soil which is good for water retention and oxygen. You won't get a whole lot of nutrients from the rotten hay though and it is not equal to a good compost. Still worthy to use though.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby hurleyjd » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:27 am

farmerjan wrote:Are you looking to improve just a part of the garden? I use any and all organic matter I can find in the garden. The rotted hay will be great for the soil. Do you mulch the garden? In the spring I have the garden tilled, then plant, and every available open inch gets a layer of mulch. Cardboard, hay, straw, newspapers, grass clippings, you name it. I use alot of feed bags as "walkways" between rows and then put mulch hay on top of them. Only use the ones that don't have that plastic liner inbetween layers. I will put manure on top of a layer of mulch, then put more mulch on top of that for walking purposes in between rows, and it will feed the plants and not burn them. After the garden is done, it helps to protect the ground and in the spring when it is tilled again there usually isn't even a trace of what I have used the year before. There are some weeds, but the mulch suppresses most and the few ones that do come up pull easily as the mulch keeps the soil more moist and cooler and the worms are everywhere. I don't have time to weed and don't like the soil inbetween the plants and rows to be open and exposed to the sun and wind and heat. Don't have a tiller to use between the rows and need to conserve the moisture most years so mulching is the way to go. Keep it thick enough and you can also go out in the garden after a rain and won't have dirt sticking to your feet. In my opinion, add all that you can get.


I have not tried it but Ruth Stout the mulch queen would say to have at least 8 inches of mulch on the ground year round. Time to plant just move the mulch back and plant after plant reaches the desired height pull the mulch back. She wrote several books on this but not any being printed now.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby hurleyjd » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:30 am

MudHog wrote:Using the rotten hay will add organic matter to the soil which is good for water retention and oxygen. You won't get a whole lot of nutrients from the rotten hay though and it is not equal to a good compost. Still worthy to use though.


Rotting hay that started with around 14 protean and a good feed value should have a lot of the required nutrients for plant growth. At least the grass really grow big and green in the hay yard where the bales set.
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Re: Rotten Hay

Postby farmerjan » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:12 am

I've read and followed several of the ideas Ruth Stout and her husband practiced. I have never gotten to the 8 inch minimum of mulch and it seems to break down here as fast as I can put it down. Plus I rotate the garden around and it is easier for me to start with bare dirt first thing and then put down the mulch and all as soon as I get it planted. I never get in a rush to get into the garden, starting with cool weather crops and progressing to the ones that you have to wait til after the last killing frost. It gets tilled right around last killing frost, everything gets planted within a week and mulched then I just keep adding grass clippings and whatever else I find. There are earthworms here that would make a kid ecstatic to dig for fishing :kid: :kid: :) :banana: . I found several toads last year that I had never seen before, so they must be liking the "climate". I also put in some chicken manure from my son's chickens; mine I move around the lawn in moveable coops but his are stationary at his house so I get tubs of chicken manure/shavings mix and just put it on the feed bag rows, then mulch hay on top to walk on and it breaks down slowly and feeds the plants. Works for me and If I get it done in the beginning and then just keep up with the few weeds to be pulled during the year and adding whatever I have to rot, it is like a continual compost pile all year. I dug some sweet potatoes 2 years ago that were over 18 " long and big as a grapefruit around. Kinda interesting as I had never grown sweet potatoes before ( I am a transplanted yankee and they don't grow in New England) so didn't have any idea what to expect..... didn't put them in "hills" so they went kinda deep. Cut several trying to dig them, was kinda funny :o :o I do plant cabbage and some broccoli late in the summer and put my peas in late also instead of getting them in real early. By mid may when we get our last frost date, we are already in the hayfields so I have a little more time in the fall and so many people are done with their gardens here by labor day or so and I am still getting alot of stuff. I do succession plant things like green beans, short rows every 2 weeks, and yeah, I do move the mulch away enough to get the seed in the ground where the new row goes. Plant a couple of summer squash plants a couple of times a season too as I do have a problem with squash vine borer some years. :cry2: :cry2:
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