Help with hay bale gardening - mold and temperature questions


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I acquired 5 hay bales a few months ago that had some mold. I placed them in a square and filled the center with compost and soil. I am planting in the center and also placed some soil and seedlings and seeds directly in the bales (straw bale garden concept iwth hay bales). I live in a super cold climate (zone 3a) so the added warmth is good, EXCEPT the temperature of soil where I have planted measured at 78 degrees yesterday. The air temperature has not gone above 65 year to date, and it snowed 5" just 4 days ago and has been in the low 30s at night. Is there some sort of decomposition that might be going on to result in such high temps? I have Chinese Cabbage and chard planted that are not doing very well!! Although carrot and radish seeds are germinating. For reference, the soil temp in the compost/soil filled center area is about 60 degrees. The soil temp of the traditional raised bed next to the hay bales is 54 and the ground temp is 50. Thoughts? Should I be worried? Or just plant bananas?
Also, should I be worried about the mold? THey don't really smell like mold, but it's been a really wet spring and the sides of the bales look kind of dark. Can I get sick from eating food grown in the bales? Photos attached. Thank you!
 

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Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
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Welcome!

That's a novel way to use old hay. I wouldn't worry at all about the hay mold. Nor would I worry about the food grown in it. You will be fine.
Your plants may need a little N2 boost along the way as the decomposition of the hay may take some from the soil.

The reason the temps are up is probably due to the hay composting and that's a good thing. If it gets warm enough it will kill out any seeds in the hay and again that's a good thing. As the hay decays it will build wonderful soil for next year's plantings.

Keep us posted on your progress through your growing season. I believe you will be successful.
 
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