marsha val wrote:Hi, I had a bunch of old bales of orchard horse hay that I couldn't use up in a timely manner. Occasionally through the years, I noticed if we left a bale out over the winter, by spring it was nicely composted. Not completely, so I'd just rake it into the soil. So in November we took about 20 bales to the garden and just sat them in there and popped the strings. It's Jan, and they are molding in the middle but I really don't see much else happening. Now I'm worried I'm going to have a bunch of moldy hay to deal with in a couple of months. Do you have any suggestions of what I could do to get this stuff to break down more quickly? I've looked up lime, but not sure it is the right way to go, some composters say it steals the nitrogen that's needed to compost. So would I use fertilizer that has nitrogen? and lime? In hindsight, I should've just laid down some flakes across the garden instead of the the entire bale. I feel I might've created a big mess. If you have any ideas, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
marsha val wrote:Oh wow. Yes, LOTS of mold inbetween the flakes. The bales are sitting one after the other in a continuous row with about 8" between the rows. It doesn't cover the garden completely. There's some area left open.
OK, I'll spread this out to cover every square inch. I do think it needs that to make it less dense. Should I move flakes or just not worry and toss with a pitch fork? This will disturb the fungus/mold on the inside - Is that ok? At what point will this fungus/mold die off?
I'm brand new to this idea, it's def a learning experience and I don't know what to expect. This is sounding very interesting though!
marsha val wrote:Did you use seeds or plants? How did your zucchini taste? Thanks!
Al William wrote:Further to some messages above, growing in bales seems like another good use. Presumably even after a growing season there will still be a substantial amount of the bale remaining to use as mulch. I learnt about it from this episode of The Survival Podcast, an interview with Joel Karsten.
Also to second people's suggestions of Ruth Stout, her book 'The No-Work Garden Book' is a fun read.