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  • - In this video,

  • we're going to be talking about

  • using grass and hay as a mulch to grow food.

  • (hay thumps)

  • (gentle music)

  • For the past three years,

  • we've been using a lot more cut grass and hay

  • in our vegetable garden to help us with growing food.

  • Now the thing about grass, especially where we are,

  • where it's quite a wet climate,

  • we just get so much of it.

  • So, it's almost like autumn time,

  • we have all the autumnal leaves.

  • It's like the rest of the time,

  • when it's not winter, you have so much grass.

  • And the thing is,

  • if you've got an abundance of a particular resource,

  • than it makes complete sense to make the most of it

  • and utilise it to help you out

  • with what you're trying to do.

  • So, that's exactly what we're doing through using grass.

  • So, if you live in suburbia, than the likelihood is

  • that there's gonna be a lot of people mowing their lawns.

  • So, all you need to do is ask them for their law clippings.

  • And even just volunteer to pick them up yourself.

  • Because they are such an abundant resource around there.

  • And the thing is you can get them for free.

  • And when it comes to mulching,

  • what you wanna do is place a two inch

  • or a five to six centimetre layer.

  • You can make the layer thicker

  • but that's kind of a good minimum to aim for.

  • On our small holding,

  • we do have a lot of land.

  • So, that means a lot of grass.

  • So, at the moment,

  • we're currently scything our orchard

  • and that's gonna create so much hay for us.

  • Now, there is something about hay

  • which people like to bring up a lot.

  • And I saw it in a few comments,

  • in the growing the potatoes the lazy way.

  • Where we simply placed potatoes on the ground

  • and just covered it with a thick layer of hay.

  • And people saying that you're basically

  • just putting down grass seed.

  • And that is true.

  • We have a wildflower hay meadow.

  • And when we have hay, we like to cut it,

  • after all the wildflowers have seeded.

  • And in that case, there is quite a lot of seed.

  • But the idea behind mulch

  • and going towards no dig garden system

  • is that you're just going to

  • continue piling it on over the year.

  • Yes, hay can give you a lot of weeds

  • and it can give you a lot of grass to deal with.

  • But that's basically only

  • if you take the hay off to leave bare soil

  • and then all the grass will grow through.

  • Because the idea, with adopting a mulch system,

  • is that over the year,

  • you're going to continue placing some more layers of mulch.

  • And especially for something quite dense, such as hay.

  • Especially after it's rained.

  • It's literally going to smother the ground.

  • So, the weeds will find it very difficult to go through.

  • And should any weeds happen to come through,

  • then it's so easy to pull out by hand.

  • Or you can simply place another thick layer over the top.

  • And gradually, as you build the layers,

  • the hay at the bottom,

  • is going to start to break down.

  • And it's going to release those nutrients.

  • And as an interesting discussion,

  • where you're looking at,

  • should I mulch with straw?

  • Or should I mulch with hay?

  • And yeah, straw has its benefits

  • because you might not get weeds

  • because they've already taken the wheat off it.

  • But the thing about hay is

  • that usually, especially from a wildflower hay meadow,

  • or organically farmed meadow,

  • there's other things growing,

  • apart from grass, such as clover.

  • So, there actually tends to be more nutrients in hay.

  • So, if you want fertile soil,

  • then what I'd recommend you do is mulch with hay.

  • And I can speak from experience

  • because this is the third year now where we're using hay.

  • And we haven't seen any noticeable differences in weeds.

  • In fact, by mulching more, we are building more soil.

  • And we're also weeding less.

  • So, it's actually saving time.

  • And if you happen to have a lot of hay

  • and you want to create a new area of garden,

  • then here's a great way to create a noted garden.

  • All you need to do is take off

  • the top two to three inches,

  • so around six to seven centimetres of soil,

  • and you place a really thick layer of hay on top.

  • And then, with the soil that you've taken off,

  • you put that back onto the hay.

  • And then, over time, this will break down

  • and then you can plant into this.

  • And then, as the plants grow,

  • then mulch around them with hay.

  • And if you live in dry climate,

  • then mulching is a fantastic way

  • to reduce the need to water.

  • But it acts as insulation

  • where it retains moisture within the soil.

  • So, that's a really good benefit to it.

  • One thing we did to demonstrate

  • the effectiveness of growing in hay bales,

  • was that we kind of copied the straw bale garden idea.

  • We planted directly into hay bales

  • and we found two things.

  • We found if you left a hay bale out

  • for a whole grain season,

  • and then planted the next season,

  • this would be the most effective thing to do.

  • And the second thing is,

  • we didn't have to weed the squash plants once.

  • It was so simple.

  • It was putting out a bale of hay,

  • leaving it there for a year,

  • and then the following grain season,

  • putting in a bit of compost,

  • planting the plant, and then leaving it.

  • And all we had to do was harvest it at the end of the year.

  • And that's a prime example

  • that you can easily grow a lot of food

  • for hardly enough effort at all.

  • I hope this video has inspired you a bit

  • and answered your other questions

  • to do with growing food using grass and hay as a mulch.

  • And I do appreciate that some of you

  • may not have enough access to these materials.

  • So, a bit later on in the year,

  • I'm going to go out to my local community

  • and my local town,

  • and I'm going to show you

  • all kind of different materials

  • that you can collect from shops and businesses

  • which you can use as a mulch instead.

  • And if you have any further questions or comments,

  • regarding grain food and mulch,

  • then don't hesitate to ask me,

  • down below in the comments section.

  • And I look forward to seeing you again soon, good bye.

  • (gentle music)

- In this video,

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B1 UK hay mulch grass soil garden layer

Using Hay and Grass as Mulch to Grow Food

  • 100 8
    Amy.Lin posted on 2018/03/30
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