Killer Compost/Murderous Mulch


Sustainability Master
Mar 11, 2012
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Whew - almost made a mistake tonight. We're about to get cold and I've got some young plants set out. Broccoli, cabbages and carrots. (Not much but better than nothing.) My plan was to bring a big ol' stack of hay up to the raised beds and have it ready to put over the plants for the couple of nights that we're gonna get cold. I know, I know it's really probably not going to be cold enough to really NEED to cover them but I wanted to get ready ' justincase.'

I went to a round bale that the goats haven't been eating much of and filled a garden cart with it and got ready to take it to the garden bed area when I remembered. I remembered that this is the ONE bale that I have that was sprayed with an herbicide. I don't think that covering those plants with bad hay would kill 'em in just a night or two - but ya know what? I'm not taking any chances.


Super Self-Sufficient
Jul 17, 2017
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Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
Killer Compost/Murderous Mulch what a great title for sprayed hay.

Yes I've had this problem same as you. In North Carolina The local landfill has all the free leaf liter and mulch you want. In the closest town people would mow there yards and the rake or bag the clippings and put on the curb. The city would come by one day a week and pick up all the bags or suck up all the piled to take to the land fill. The city did the same with leaves.

The mulch was free for anyone to load up. Beautiful black composted mulch. I picked up a truck load full and tilled it into my garden and all my transplants died and nothing sprouted. I figured it was full of herbicides (weed and feed).

I had to abandon that garden spot and start over in a new area.

sure the whole free compost thing the city put together sounded like a great idea but like most things the gov does it was a utter failure because they don't think it through all the way.


Lovin' The Homestead
Oct 24, 2019
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mid-Michigan, USoA
i've picked way too much trash out of leaves and compost that i won't take any more now without inspecting it first. if it is hand raked leaves i'll take them. leaves picked up by mower i won't (shredded trash and grass clippings and weed seeds i don't need).

compost i would rather grow my own plants and then use those for composting.

wood is normally usually ok to take as long as it isn't treated or the black walnut, but most people find other more useful things to do with that than compost or burn it. most wood scraps i get are from people who are making firewood and they don't want to throw away the bark or rotting stuff and i can always use it someplace or bury it or leave it along an edge until it finishes rotting.

i don't ever take grass clippings.

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