Can You Use Straw for Composting?

Can you use straw for composting?

Yes, straw is an excellent addition to compost. Straw is field hay that has been stripped of it’s grain or seeds. Straw is considered a brown (it’s a carbon) for composting. Hay on the other hand would not be a good idea for composting because it’s full of seeds that could germinate after you spread the compost. Seeds only die after long exposure to high temperatures like 150 degrees for 30 days. A compost pile may not get that hot although some do.

Straw decomposes quickly and increases the heat in the compost pile. This makes it very desirable for composting. Decomposing straw will attract worms and other beneficial organisms that also speed up the composting process. If you cover your compost pile with a layer of straw it will insulate the compost file and keep temperatures high but at the same allow rain or water to get through.

Straw also makes an excellent mulch. Straw mulch will enhance the soil, retain moisture, ward off weeds and cool the soil in the summer and keep it warm in the winter.

Straw is an excellent foundation for a compost pile. If you are starting a compost, put a few inches of straw on the bottom and then your other materials on top. The straw will aerate the compost pile, increase drainage and speed up decomposition.

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