Senior Member
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

can I till old hay directly into my garden?

Hello all, I have some old hay bales that a farmer give me because they got wet in the field and never dried out so they started to rot and I was wondering if I could till this right into my garden soil, or would there be a better use for it? I also have plenty of old leaf piles that are on there way to decomposing I would like to use in the garden or in the compost pile. Would it be better to compost everything first? Thanks all.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: can I till old hay directly into my garden?

Till it in. Use it as mulch. Yes, it is good to add organic matter to the garden.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Greener Thumb
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:34 pm
Location: Brownville, Ne

Re: can I till old hay directly into my garden?

Either way would be beneficial. I agree with jal_ut, till it in. I till my old straw in at the end of the growing season so it breaks down during the year but tilling before planting will not hurt a thing. Decomposing organics will tie up some nitrogen during the process so you may want to fertilize a little bit to compensate.
Paul F

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: can I till old hay directly into my garden?

Yes i would till it in the soil. It might get tangled in the tiller so it might be best to use the lawn mower to cut it into smaller pieces first before tilling it into the soil.

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