Ask a Question forum: Can I use a wet moldy looking hay bale in my garden?

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cherie12658
Mar 21, 2017 11:40 PM CST
I have a two year old hay bale that my son has been using for his archery practice . It looks dark and probably moldy can I use it in my garden , like covering potatoes or mulching my garden that I'm planting .
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 22, 2017 12:14 AM CST
cherie12658 said:I have a two year old hay bale that my son has been using for his archery practice . It looks dark and probably moldy can I use it in my garden , like covering potatoes or mulching my garden that I'm planting .


Mold is a natural decayer of dead plants. It doesn't seem to affect living ones. I checked my book on plant diseases and mold seems to bother mostly old tomatos left on the vine and stored root crops kept under high humidity.

But I will admit, it would vaguely bother me to put moldy hay on my potatoes to grow up through. Something just seems wrong about that.

Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Mar 22, 2017 7:47 AM CST
I know I wouldn't take the chance. Welcome!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 22, 2017 7:53 AM CST
I would not plant the potatoes in the hay bale, but I would not hesitate to use the moldy hay for mulch around the plants in the garden. Fresh hay would eventually mold anyway...
Porkpal
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 22, 2017 12:35 PM CST
Go ahead and use it, it do/have often.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 22, 2017 1:52 PM CST
I agree with "go ahead and use it." It's moldy because it's gotten wet, which means most of the weed seeds will have sprouted already so you won't be getting a bunch of new weeds in your garden. If you spread it out so the layer of mulch isn't too thick and compact, it should dry out before long and I don't think it would be a problem for either your potatoes or any other plants that you mulch with it.
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cherie12658
Mar 22, 2017 8:23 PM CST
Thanks guys good info from you all, I think I'll use it as a mulch around plants that are already up. Thanks cherie

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