Is hay a green or brown?

Asked by: Deangelo Hagenes
Score: 4.3/5 (50 votes)

As far as composting goes, it's a green. Other ingredients are also confusing. Alfalfa hay is 'brown' in color, but is considered to be a green since it contains a lot of nitrogen. The bottom line is that the brown and green rule does not always work.

Is hay a brown?

Hay is dried out so it can be baled without heating up. The drying process doesn't remove much nitrogen (some nitrogen may be lost, but not a lot). The green/brown designation is determined by the ratio of carbon to nitrogen. If it's higher than 30:1, it's a brown.

Can you put hay in a compost bin?

Add yard and garden residues and other organic materials to the compost pile, including leaves, grass clippings, straw and hay, sawdust, and finely chopped or shred tree and shrub prunings. ... You can also put coffee grounds and eggshells on your compost pile.

Is straw A Brown?

Due to its high carbon content, straw is classified as a brown in composting. Some types of straw have slightly more nitrogen in them than others, making them slightly greener, but in the end all types fall into the browns category.

41 related questions found

What is the best brown material for compost?

Browns for the Compost Pile
  • Twigs, chipped tree branches/bark.
  • Straw or hay.
  • Sawdust.
  • Corn stalks.
  • Paper (newspaper, writing/printing paper, paper plates and napkins, coffee filters)
  • Dryer lint.
  • Cotton fabric.
  • Corrugated cardboard (without any waxy/slick paper coatings.

What are the 5 benefits of composting?

Here are five benefits of composting:
  • Adds nutrients to the soil. Compost is humus—nutrient-rich soil. ...
  • Introduces valuable organisms to the soil. Microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, decompose organic material. ...
  • Recycles kitchen and yard waste. ...
  • Reduces landfill waste. ...
  • Good for the environment!

How do you compost for beginners?

How to Compost
  1. Start your compost pile on bare earth. ...
  2. Lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. ...
  3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. ...
  4. Add manure, green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. ...
  5. Keep compost moist.

What should you not put in compost?

What NOT to Compost
  • Meat and Fish Scraps. ...
  • Dairy, Fats, and Oils. ...
  • Plants or Wood Treated with Pesticides or Preservatives. ...
  • Black Walnut Tree Debris. ...
  • Diseased or Insect-Infested Plants. ...
  • Weeds that Have Gone to Seed. ...
  • Charcoal Ash. ...
  • Dog or Cat Waste.

Is hay or straw better for compost?

Straw is relatively free of seeds and the few that remain on the stalks shouldn't pose a problem, as they will rot right along with the rest of the plant in the compost pile. ... You can buy both hay and straw in bales at most garden centers, from farms and feed and grain stores.

Is Brown hay bad?

Brown hay may have been overexposed to heat, or undergone fermentation, while yellow hay indicates the plants were over-mature when cut3. ... Poor-quality hay may be damp and moldy with a musty or fermented smell. Hay that appears weathered, straw-like, or brown is likely low in nutritional value.

What causes brown hay?

Some heat production is normal in nearly all hay and silage, but when forage temperatures exceed around 125°F, chemical reactions called Maillard reactions can occur. ... These compounds often smell sweet like caramel, produce various flavors, and can turn the forage to a tobacco-brown color.

Does hay rot down?

A whole mass of freshly cut straw would take an age to rot down on its own, but use it for a winter then mix it up with your grass cuttings, veg peelings etc and it'll compost just fine.

What is the ratio of brown to green in compost?

The easy ratio to follow is 1 to 1, 50% green compost and 50% brown compost. Some people say you need more green than brown, some say you need more brown than green, but we and many other composters use half and half without issue. Watching this ratio can help keep Bacteria and Fungi happy.

How often should you turn compost?

The average composter turns the pile every 4-5 weeks. When turning the compost pile, make sure that materials in the center are brought to the outsides, and that materials from the outside edges are brought to the center.

Can I compost toilet paper rolls?

Papter towel and toilet paper rolls can be recycled or composted! If you have a compost pail in the bathroom (which we recommend due to being able to compost tissues and cotton swaps with paper sticks), toilet paper rolls can go into the compost as well!

Should I pee on my compost pile?

Recipe 3: Compost pee Urine can be composted. It's very high in nitrogen, so it counts as a “green” in the compost, and shouldn't be added to a compost bin that is already high in nitrogen-rich materials like food scraps. ... Keep in mind: Urine is high in salt. This is one reason why it needs to be properly diluted.

Can banana peels go in compost?

Composting banana peels is as easy as simply tossing your leftover banana peels into the compost. You can toss them in whole, but be aware that they may take longer to compost this way. ... While, yes, you can use banana peels as fertilizer and it will not harm your plant, it is best to compost them first.

What is bad about composting?

Another disadvantage of composting is the potential for creating a nutrient imbalance when you add finished compost to the soil. Compost has four basic ingredients: nitrogen, carbon, water and air. To create the ideal environment for compost, a 30:1 ratio of carbon to nitrogen is required.

What is the best compost for beginners?

If you want to do the bare minimum
  • ECO-2000 Plus Kitchen Compost Waste Collector. ...
  • BioBag 48-Count 3-Gallon Compostable Bags. ...
  • OXO Good Grips Compost Bin, White. ...
  • Bamboozle Food Composter (Natural) ...
  • Hot Frog Living Composter. ...
  • VermiHut Plus 5-Tray Worm Compost Bin. ...
  • Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 250-Count Red Wiggler Live Composting Worms.

Do I need to add dirt to my compost?

When to Add Soil to Compost

Add soil to the top of compost any time, but make sure the soil is dry. Wet soil could cause the compost to become too wet, which may create a slimy pile with pest problems. Keep a pile of soil near the compost bin and add to it anytime you have surplus soil from planting a tree or bush.

Can I put potatoes in compost?

Yes, you can compost potatoes. Be aware though that potatoes have a tendency to grow into new potatoes if left whole in the compost heap. ... Chop them up to lessen the risk and if there is any signs of disease (particularly blight), don't compost them in case the virus/spores aren't killed by the composting cycle.

Does composting reduce waste?

Benefits of Composting

Organic waste in landfills generates, methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By composting wasted food and other organics, methane emissions are significantly reduced. Compost reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers. Compost promotes higher yields of agricultural crops.

Is composting really worth it?

Conclusion. Composting is worth it for those who want to create their own nutrient-rich soil amendments for a yard, garden, or flower bed. Turning yard debris and kitchen waste into compost is an excellent way to save money, make use of otherwise discarded material, and prevent unneeded landfill waste.

How much waste does composting reduce?

Composting could reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and incinerators in the U.S. by at least 30 percent.