Hay-bale, slow-cook compost pileOne of our readers noticed this picture on our website of a hay-bale compost bin and was curious about making one. This kind of compost pile is ideal for the following conditions:
- You have plenty of room (depending on size of hay bales, its "footprint" can be as big as 5' x 8').
- You have enough time to leave it alone for several months while it slowly decomposes.
Make a box of hay-bales.
Sifted compost to nourish transplants - put a big handful in as you plant them.
Do not put in grasses from your garden that can grow from bits of their roots. For example: Bermuda grass or Quack grass etc. This is a slow-cook pile and its not hot enough to kill these weeds. If you put them in the compost you will then spread them all through your garden when you "harvest" the compost!
Sifter with hinged legs. It can be moved to sift different piles of material in your garden.
The hay bales rot and decompose throughout the whole winter and make incredible sheet-mulch to put around your transplants in the spring. You'll notice as you peel off the 2-3 inch "flakes" (they're pretty gooey by spring-time!) that they are full of red worms, their eggs and castings. Your spring garden now will be infused with a new, healthy population of these mini-livestock.
You will likely have many "volunteers" from the seeds of the plants you threw into your compost pile in the fall. Don't worry! You can easily weed them out if they come up in your garden beds.
Please also read:
Herbicide Contamination in Manure, Compost and Grass Clippings?