Bad Compost

Hay   Just wanted to pass along some information that I thought some of you might find to be very helpful in your garden.

  A few years ago, my wife and I were taking classes through the University of Washington State to become certified Master Gardeners. The program had taken a major surprise in its own test garden when suddenly many things would not grow, or they just outright died. So, long story as short as I can make it, after a lot of testing they tracked it down to their homemade compost, it was contaminated.

  To their unfortunate surprise, the contaminate was tracked down to “certified weed free hay.”

   Certified weed free hay is a controlled product that is heavily sprayed with Roundup or a similar product. The chemicals used have a very long lifespan and will persist long after the animal has eaten the hay. As a result, the manure from the animal, as MSU Master Gardener program discovered, is bad. The manure and old hay is still contaminated, even after composting that product and then spreading on your garden. It still has enough punch left in it to become devastating to your garden. And it can even continue to retard growth for a season or two after you have applied it.

So, use a little wisdom and ask about the things you toss in your compost bins. When in doubt, run a small test in a flower pot with two or three different kinds seeds and see what they do.

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