With a new hay season around the corner it’s time to clean out the hay shed and remove spoiled or stale hay in readiness for the new supply. Even with well-kept hay there will always be a certain amount of wastage; there may be anything from a pile of sweepings to several bales that might have been affected by damp and are suitable for cattle to eat, but not horses.
While burning gets rid of this quickly, a hay bonfire is money going up in smoke while adding carbon to the atmosphere, and a valuable resource is being wasted.
There are many ways to recycle and re-use old hay. First and foremost, it is a key compost ingredient and a marvelous mulching material.
Spreading biscuits of old hay around the base of trees, several centimentres away from the trunk, as summer mulch, will reduce the amount of water the tree needs. Water-in the hay once it has been placed.