Organic Lawn Fertilizer Made from Moldy Hay (Video)

moldy hay sustainable lawn care photo

Image credit: Paul Wheaton

I may have taken my own advice about lazivore gardening a little too seriously of late. My garden is a mess. That may go some way to explaining why I have been enjoying Paul Wheaton's YouTube channel so much7mdash;he's giving me my garden fix without having to go deal with the North Carolina summer or the wire-grass forest I am cultivating. Earlier today I posted a video from Paul on how to make seed balls for no-till farming, and another on why environmentalists may be a little too obsessed with native plants. Here we get a permaculture tip on that garden feature so hated by many die-hard greenies—the lawn. And who knew that keeping a lawn lush and green could be achieved with just a few bales of moldy hay.

I confess I have always been a little bemused by just how passionate some permaculture enthusiasts and organic gardening advocates get about the evils of the lawn. Sure, I understand that using massive amounts of water and chemical fertilizers and herbicides to maintain a pristine, clipped, monoculture lawn is not the best use of our resources. But the fact is that having some lawn space for lounging around, eating, or playing ball with your kids is one of the nicest things about having a garden.

We don't all need gigantic suburban lawns, but with low-maintenance drought resistant grasses, human-powered lawn mowers, and the opportunity to plant wildflowers on your lawn, there's no reason that lawn-loving permaculturists can't have their lawn and eat their perennial salad crops too.

And as for maintaining the nutrient mix of your lawn, we already know that interplanting clover and using a mulching lawn mower can help feed the grass. But this tip for using moldy hay that most farmers would discard is one more way to give your little play area a quick nutrient boost. Now, I really should go do some gardening...

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