Backyard lazy ground straw

Did67 Lazy Potager: gardening effortlessly with hay

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Le Potager du Sloth: garden without efforts with hay. Hay: a super-material "in 4 1"

DR photos: Didier Helmstetter.

Introductory Photo: vegetables grown in soil never worked - or spade or hoe or hoe or Grelinette ... And of course, without the use of power tiller!

The use of hay, instead of other materials (straw, compost, bark, leaves ...), is the key to the device. It plays critical roles 4, allowing the gardener to laze.

First, like any opaque coverage (if the thickness is sufficient), it blocks the annual weeds that germinate more. No need to hoe or draw.

Then he has a high biological life in the soil, including earthworms (especially the group of "anecic worms" digging vertical galleries). They are numerous and very active as well fed. In reality, it is a whole armada of agencies who set to work to "work" and build the soil. This activity results in the secretion of glues. It initiates a process of "aggradation" the ground (this is the opposite of "degradation"). So naturally, without any work, this results in a few months, a soil "which looks like couscous." No need to dig or move the Grelinette. "And do not use tiller that killing worms by shredding! "

Earthworms and straw
In "scratching" a little, worms are everywhere, under the cover that nourishes and protects ...
The "worm castings" are indications of intense activity of a group of worms - worms "anecic" who are the real helper gardener, those who dig vertical galleries ... For there "to and from"!

Furthermore, the cover protects the soil and its agencies against aggression: the "lumps" (aggregates) which form are not degraded by the impact of raindrops; even under severe thunderstorms, and despite the slope, he has no trace of erosion, no fine particles carried away; fertility remains. Protected from the wind and sun, the soil is kept moist which promotes the activity of organisms and plant growth. No need to weed to keep the soil loose and airy.

Finally, the decomposition of hay provides the ground, and thus the plants all the nutrients required for growth. Not just the few "major" elements (the famous NPK) that brings with fertilizers. These items were taken from the meadow at the grass growth, which absorbed everything a plant needs. Hay is also a "very complete organic fertilizer," slow release since it must first be broken down, which occurs naturally as the pace of plant growth (soil organisms undertaking it follow as the seasons). Needless to fertilize! Even the manure, "which is what remains of the hay when he passed through the digestive tract of animals, which have taken their nutrients are mixed with straw, even poorer," is meaningless!

Lettuce home more than organic garden
Lettuce grown without tillage without fertilization, without any treatment ... super!

That, in a very short, "natural spring" on which this approach rests ... And that is why the results are so spectacular.

It should be noted that the straw (except to use the "organic" straw) contains residues of various treatment suffered by the cereal, including fungicides often sputtered just weeks before harvest shorteners, herbicides, while the hay from natural meadows has generally not been processed. "All the more reason to focus hay instead of straw! "...

Last surprise: "It is also noteworthy that this way of doing much better and faster operation by installing a vegetable garden in a meadow or grass or even a wasteland." In a "classic" garden, the ground has been bludgeoned and partially poisoned, the population of anecic to be low or non-existent in the case of intensive use of the tiller, mineral fertilizers and certain pesticides even "organic" (copper , commonly used in "organic" is a poison for the soil, worms, fungi, mycorrhizae; he fixed it). In the case of such a soil, it will persevere sometimes half a dozen years before the natural mechanisms will take over again! In a meadow, simply 6 1 month or year so that everything is "top"!

Bonus: Didier video that presents the Sillon'netSmall tool design (with the help of members Site of econology forums) To cut hay on the ground


Monitoring work on the garden of Didier H. from 2014

Introduction to the Kitchen Garden Sloth


42 comments on "The Kitchen garden of Lazy Did67: gardening effortlessly with hay"

    1. Once installed, the bindweed is indeed a problem. In "classical gardening" as with my way of doing. Even the very controversial herbicide of the very controversial brand promises its eradication. You can try, but it will come again!
      The best way is to start from a non-polluted meadow, without bindweed, and not to install it (by buying or exchanging plants).
      For my part, one half of the garden is virgin and another half is an old garden, back to meadow, "moderately" contaminated. As I spare myself a lot of work, I devote a few minutes a day to snatch it, as deeply as possible. In two or three years, it is exhausted, after being "bonzaïsé". Provided never leave him any chance - as soon as there are leaves, the rhizome "recharges" into energy.
      The subject is approached several times in econolgie: [use "bindweed" in the internal search engine of the site]
      The Lazy Gardener

      1. Hello
        When and how to water in permanent mulch?
        I am new and I find such information indicates that for most plants it is not advisable to wet the leaves
        Is there a video on the subject?

    1. To my knowledge, it is not the region or the weather that play.
      The method is effective only against annual weeds, which recover each year. And this on two conditions: a) to maintain a layer permanently, from one end of the year to the other of the year; b) maintain a layer thick enough to "block" the light (I put about 20 cm of hay packed late in the fall or very early at the end of winter, it is not against the "perennial weeds" , which survive underground from one year to the next, and in the spring they produce rejections, from the reserves accumulated in an organ: rhizome, tuber, strain ... These, I pluck them out. after a year of cover, the weed is removed, its roots, its subterranean organ without difficulty (except the bindweed!) And the perennials regress very quickly too.
      Finally, to be complete, one must not seek perfection: the first question to ask is "does this harm my garden?". I always leave the weeds on the parts not occupied by vegetables: they make biomass that nourishes my worms; they sustain living organisms in the soil through the secretion of roots in the "biosphere". Why get tired of sowing green manures?
      The Lazy Gardener

  1. Hello, in the meadow how you put in cultivation, just the hay will not suffice or you sow in the hay and not in the soil ???? I do not know much about it. thank you

    1. In the prairie, the first year, I do not sow. I muck, I cover with a thick layer of hay and I plant (plants raised in buckets), even if the soil is "hard" ... And so I pull a few "perennials", that will pierce that. About 6 months after, there is still trace of "herbs". In autumn or the year after, I can sow without problem with my furrows ...
      But it is better always to sow in the soil, in furrows. Since the hay is also there to "block" the germination of the annuals, it will block the germination of what you sow - it does not make the difference! So you have to open up furrows, so that the light comes to the ground, and sow in there, from the second year on.
      You will understand that it was not possible for me to explain everything in an article. I invite you to follow on econology, where this is best explained on 140 pages!
      Didier, the Lazy Gardener.

  2. I practice a bit like that; some tillage and lots of mulch (hay, mowing ...).
    I agree with Didier, but I have 2 problems:
    The robins that systematically upset my mulch ... and planting with! (the more I put on hay, the more I have blackbirds). How to hunt blackbirds?
    Moles that feast on earthworms and turn the terrain into a roller coaster ... by cutting off a few plants on their way. (I trap a dozen every year, but it always comes).
    It becomes a big problem, to the point where I think temporarily stop mulching.
    I also have an invasion of underground ants and root aphids in my greenhouse since 2 years ago, but I do not think it's related to mulching. How to get rid of it?
    ... but that does not have its little worries!

    1. Sorry, I had zapped at the time:
      - I have the same problem with blackbirds; they are attracted by the worms "epige" (surface), a pole of choice for them; I stretch nets against the seedlings; for the more developed plants, it does no more damage ...
      - I did not think that the moles could reach such a development and become harmful; they are, in fact, attracted by the verses; they can cut roots in their path but do not do the same damage as the land voles or rat-taupiers, which I have en masse; and that I trap ...
      - I also had this year ants and root aphids (I think that underground, as they do on plants, ants raise and treat aphids); I put this on the account of the imbalance created by the excess rainfall in early summer, the ground too cold and the absence of any full of auxiliaries this year ... The greenhouse is a "complex system", more artificialised. I do not have any yet but I think about it ...

    2. hello for blackbirds I put transparent metal, no joke, I put wire mesh 75 X 100 mm that I lay on the floor. I stuck between the stitches. if I sowed I pass from time to time and I direct the sheets if necessary. for moles take a basin with rounded edge to bury it so that this edge arrives at the ground level, put 5cm of water in it so that the mole learns to swim, and especially to water well around. moisture attracts to attract moles. for the aphids I use a lot of absinthe in infusion + black soap and tomatoes purée (leaves or greedy) I do not compost in heaps in a corner of the garden I put everything between plants or vegetables and nature do the rest of what to fatigue
      in 2016 I used 400l of water, including sprays

  3. It's been a few weeks since I started seeding a lazy vegetable garden, see:

    I think we can add a 5th effect (indirectly included in the term "protection" in the 3ieme of the list of Didier but I think it deserves a clarification): it is the effect of thermal protection!

    Indeed; more than the straw used in permaculture, a beautiful hay blanket thermally protects the soil: I notice every time when I drop food composting in the evening under the layer of hay, there are a few degrees of temperature difference! So that said higher temperature said significant biological activity!

    I see a disadvantage: in case of "contamination", "parasites" (in the broad sense) may not be totally killed by frost in winter!
    The popular thinking (perhaps false ???) claims that after a good cold winter, the soil is "decontaminated" ...

    1. Everything will depend on the duration of the cold episode ... This "smooth" the temperature variations. But after 15 days of - 10 °, this will not prevent some cleaning ... On the other hand, a stealth 15 ° one or two nights, will have much less effects ...
      The insulation will slow down the rise in ground temperature in spring or in winter. This will be rather a default. Patience should be cultivated before sowing or planting. The biological cycles will be delayed ... My experience, except this year!, Was that it tended to catch up by a stronger growth then ... To nuance of course according to the culture ... For the first radish, we may have to wait ...

      1. Hello Didier and thank you for sharing your experience. Currently, I am a market gardener practicing a rather "bio-intensive" system but I am not satisfied. I'm moving this winter, which gives me the chance to start from scratch, and your system draws me a lot. About the spring, which was one of my brakes just right. Do you think it would be possible and beneficial to remove the mulching in February and March to warm up the soil and avoid stunting? As a "pro", I can hardly afford a delay, and I do not want to cover my greenhouse garden to meet this deadline ...
        Or, use the black tarp over mulching, would it be effective to raise the temperature?
        thank you,

    1. No no. It is necessary to "cultivate laziness", so do as little as possible. There, the grasses will come alive slowed, the leaves will be damaged, the stump will remain. You go over it! Without light, it will not go back. If you put thick enough, it can not break through.
      Only perennials will pierce (dandelion, wild sorrel, thistle, plantain, bindweed if there is any ...). In the first year, you must pluck them as gently as possible, through the hay, trying to have the roots or rhizomes or bulbs (depending on the plant).

  4. Hi,
    I have an organic vegetable garden, so I work with the grelinette, I wanted to know if I had to remove the weeds before putting hay, I already do the same thing, with straw.
    Merci de votre réponse

    1. You're dropping the grelinette too ... At best, it's useless. At worst, it is a bit harmful (less spade certainly, much less than the tiller, of course) ...

  5. Didier Hello, thank you for sharing your knowledge, you only put light for free, or just you alone speak.
    It's been a year since I was thinking about changing my life, for personal reasons, and thus becoming maraicher and also selling "derivatives" of my crops. I have been watching all the videos that have attracted permaculture, and I am sad and reassuring: sad because you are the only one in France (I only watch French videos) to expose in a scientific way your work as an agronomist) the functioning of a basement, and reassuring because you dared to do it, and that we can finally learn. So I think I can say that in terms of permaculture (word a little outdated in our context) you are undoubtedly the most perfect of the professors. Certainly the experience of associated plantations or others you may lack, but the basic bases of a perfect basement are only brought to light by you scientifically.
    All lovers of permaculture will see Damiens Dekarts and other beautiful people who
    a certain experience of permaculture and which (amateurs) make us dream. They make us want to try ... but you give us the scientific explanation of how to get there: become a willow farmer and develop the mycelium. No more the grolinette or other absurdities so much seen in those who claim permacultors. Without the ointment, but to thank you, I would say only one thing: the concept of permaculture has existed since 1928 in Japan (to believe the Internet), but the true real director of this permaculture, the first who (earthworm farmer) is a denominated Didier67 in 2016, with his hay ... I conceive you too humble to say it publicly, but after mature reflection, I think it is as long as you endure the real costumes you really deserve: Inventor of Econology. it is simply the most perfect revealed form of permaculture .... permaculture based economy.
    For all that Didier, thank you, and in the name of humanity, I thank you doubly.
    Signed a man who finally has the answers to his questions.

  6. Bonjours didier. Adept always from the garden more than natural. I'm never treated anyway. I do not weed very little for me. I share my garden with the "weeds" of the blow I raise to the passage of manifestations papillions with the plantain and I am delighted to see feeding the I 'll be able to clean my animals (direct rabbits) direct to the garden without going through the compost, and all summer the grass clippings on top of it. I will pass on the remarks of my neighbors to the old ones, to 5h of the matting to desert a garden already nickel of a soil return to the jurasic and treat to almost all in case ... I often "beat" them with more "beautiful" vegetables.
    And this summer I discovered your videos, a revelation for me. Finally scientific explanation on itself that spanked in my garden without knowing it. So this year I did things right. 20 good hay all over the garden. I still kept animal manure for artichokes and rhubarb.
    Me remains the greenhouses? Even in services, I still eat tomatoes, peppers and lettuce.
    Hay too? I still have a good layer of grass in the summer. Must it water to ply the hay? In winters the greenhouse empties. The dry land and waits for spring ....

    personal note, I my straw strawberry with fern of ground wood, a haven for earthworms.

    1. Sorry, I kind of overlooked this discussion.
      I would not water under glass. Just keep the hay dry. Do not wet the vegetables. I watered the plants only by drip, under the hay or at the foot of each plant of tomato, aubergines, etc ...
      But I use round balls, which I unroll. The hay is then compact and the rest if it unrolls carefully, without aeration.
      For the loose hay, I tasserais as best as possible, patting with a fork, or advancing on two boards on which I walk ...
      But I do not yet have a greenhouse, so I can not "guarantee" - I use the conditional ...

  7. Hi,
    Thank you for all these comments ... I discover and confirm what I practiced more or less well, so it will help me.
    I look forward to the response to Stéphanie's comment from 16 / 11 for her greenhouse. I also have tomatoes, but it is true, the other years it remains empty and the earth dries.
    So I'm going to hatch everywhere. A little hope to stifle the clover that invades my garden since 3 years.
    thank you,

  8. Hello,
    This year I'm going to make "a lazy vegetable garden", I watch all your videos and I find this gardening formidable. I have a question about slugs. My garden is infested with it. Despite beer traps, and harvesting slugs every night. How do you proceed? Do you have a good idea?
    A big thank-you

  9. With what enthusiasm I find you I'm in Perpignan, I'll do.
    In this southern context, sun and dehydration, how to manage the necessary hygrometry. Thank you for your answer and your knowledge

    1. I do not manage the humidity - in the sense of humidity in the air. My vegetables are exposed full sun, on this vegetable garden sloping towards the west and exposed full south (I have a hedge only to the north). Even though in Perpignan the intensity may be a little higher, I do not think this is a big problem, provided the soil remains moist.
      And there, the permanent cover of the soil will play its part, keeping the soil moist and protecting the water reserves (within certain limits, in 2015, year of drought with us, I put drip- gout ", plants consume water and even with soil cover systems, the reserve eventually becomes empty, as the most economical car tank will eventually be empty if you drive without no "miracle" possible).
      Is added the presence of fungi (see video on Youtube the same):
      - mushrooms have a "force" of water extraction about 6 times that of our plants (our plants arrive at a suction of about 15 bars, mushrooms about 90; mushroom recordman of the world at more from 900!
      - they "store" the water in their filaments
      - therefore the association "fungus - roots", called mycorrhiza, gives a remarkable capacity of extraction and water retention, which benefit the plants [on the internet, in connection with the truffle, make a search on "burned ", This area under a tree where the grass dries because the filaments of the truffle" prick "water].
      If it were necessary to shade, I would do so by alternating high plants (shrubs), planted in rows oriented north-south. Like that, the vegetables between these rows would be in the shade the 3 / 4 of the day.
      But never forget that the sun is the energy of plants! So do not make it an "enemy" - wrongly (with the exception of a few shade plants). This is part of the many "bullshit" that a lot of gardeners do.

  10. I do not have a "big" slug problem, except last year, with the two wet months of May and June. I think the following elements contribute to this:
    - I keep the paths covered with grass; they are shelters for the most important predators of the slugs, the carabes (these insects often shiny, brilliant green), but also the staphylins (it is not the legendary hedgehog!) ...
    - no obstacles: no edges, no planks or anything that could interfere with the flow of these auxiliaries.
    I usually have a few slugs at the end of the winter: they are active faster than insects; then everything comes back in order, which means that I always have some slugs, which do limited damage, but suddenly my auxiliaries also have to eat. Especially not to aim to eradicate them ...
    My great principle is that in order not to have parasites, it is necessary to "raise" these parasites; this attracts the auxiliaries ...
    So I am installing, a few meters from my garden, a "garden of the hedgehog" (in the hope that there is one that occupies it), with plants very attractive for slugs: hostas , sunflower, blue thistle (Eryngium) ... I always try to combine two or three things: usefulness / beauty / biodiversity (the blue thistle is very pretty, it makes beautiful bouquets, the sunflower is pretty too and feeds birds, etc.).
    Now, one of the problems, with the slugs, is that there are quite a few species, each with its "diet". I found a big orange "wallowing" on an Indian carnation in the middle of the day, but when I put carnations of India between my carrot seedlings to attract the slugs, the whitish little snail mocked and rushed upon the carrots; I had to pick them up by hand, at nightfall ...
    I do not know all about the ecology of slugs ... I do not necessarily have the solution ... Note also that the "composts" (badly managed) are often refuges because some species like organic matter at the beginning of decomposition…

    1. Hi,

      For slugs, everything is said = the best way to manage them is in my opinion to have a little and the harmonious ecosystem of the garden eventually balanced. I also think that the presence of hedges and shrubs allows the birds to perch, they are formidable predators.
      But it is also necessary to learn to know the beast, for that I invite you to watch the video hallucinating Hervé Coves "holistic management of slugs" on youtube. You will not see slugs in the same way!

      1. Hello,
        Indeed, this video allows to have another look on the slugs, and therefore, on the vegetable garden ...

  11. Good evening Didier

    I discovered your videos yesterday. Since then I devour them one after the other.

    My garden is an old coniferous forest on sand. That made 13 years ago that I started with persistent hardwoods or not. For about ten years, I have been mowing about 2 times a year. Since 2 years, I notice a clear development of mushrooms (finally the visible part), which seems to me a good sign.

    The problem is that if I develop crops more hay on site. The nearby forest full of ferns, I will wish to know your opinion for its use in coverage.



  12. Hello Didier,
    I am passionate about your videos and I will, very soon, start my kitchen garden ... Except that I am installed in the REUNION ISLAND where there are only 2 seasons, staggered 6 months compared to the metropolis, without fear of a hypothetical freeze ... By cons, pests and diseases ....
    Here, I can not find hay from natural meadows but grass hay sown on the more or less horizontal lands of volcanic slag ... But there is an invasive legume (desmodium intortum) that can rise up to 1 m high : in association with the hay, it should do the trick ... (it is nicknamed glue-glue for its seeds in love ...)

    I have enormous problems to find certain seeds (nettles, consoudes ...)

    I would report my essays and send you pictures and comments ...

    Soon for your next videos ..

    thanks again


  13. Hello Didier,
    It's been a few months since I learned about your videos and in November 2016, I decided to go into the lazy garden.
    I made 14 boards of 1 mx 5 m with 50 cm in between for the passage, I covered the whole of 10 cm of oak leaves of my wood and 10 cm of hay. All my old vegetable garden was covered and I put my cultivator in my barn. A I also did for 2 tests 1.20 boards mx 4 m convex 30 cm in the middle. To start with, I grew the garlic, shallots and bulbs of onions in bins and I just put them by spreading the hay on the boards. Fifteen days ago, I sowed beans by spreading the hay, pushing the 2 cm beans into the ground, and putting the soil on top of it, I would put back the hay against the feet as they pushed.
    Thanks to you for giving us so nicely all these details, for me, it begins to make my happiness I stored this tiller.

  14. For information, bulbs of garlic, onion, shallot are not afraid of the cold. You can just as well put them directly in the ground, under the hay ... They will "pierce" when it will sing them. Just like tulips, daffodils, daffodils ... The optimization of laziness is not so easy: too often, we remain "convinced" that it is absolutely necessary to make "manips", in short, existence ... A bit of a drug whose weaning is not so easy!

  15. Hello voila two weeks that I have discovered your videos and thank you for sharing ,,, I am a lady of 58 years until I limited myself in garden radish salads and qq feet of tomato and eggplant and squash ... I of the place but neither the health and motivation to have a garden as disciplined as my neighbors !,, I have litter straw composte and hay sheep ... suddenly I spread it on a part of the garden which was in grass but it is not maybe not the right time !,,, what do you think? .. even if I do not grow at least the herbs will not grow back or less ... .I m inspired by your experience and I would keep you informed. ... thanks to you because you have relaunched a motivation !,, thanks

  16. Hello Didier

    What a pleasure to read you, now I will tackle the viewing of your video. A question, our house and its small garden (120m2) is located at the top of a small pass of 650m. We often have wind and I am afraid that the hay will cheer in the wild when it blows. I plan to put a square mesh net of 50mm to tackle the hay on the ground. Is it a good idea? Thanks for advancing your reply

  17. Hello,
    I discover with great interest your videos, thank you very much for these valuable information.
    Am I to understand that one can, without regret, abandon the idea of ​​composting as you suggest depositing food, adventitious and other waste directly on the ground?


    Christian Haerlingen
    Experimenter permaculture past year in the region of Liège in Belgium.
    0032 492 20 17 00

  18. Hello, I am writing from Canada. I'm stumble upon your videos. As I try to simplify my life as I get older, your methods have captured my interest!
    I've already used straw on flowerbeds to control weeds, but to my dismay, hay seeds have begun to germinate everywhere, and I've had weeks to remove them!
    Then you will understand my fear of putting hay directly into my kitchen garden!
    So my question is: have you ever had this problem and how to pinpoint it?
    Thank you and good summer gardening and idleness!

  19. Hello didier,
    How to start? My garden is for the moment a prairie composed of tall grasses, nettles, brambles ...
    If I understand correctly, I have to mow flat and keep the hay so created to cover my ground. I have to wait for how long? three months, more?

  20. Hello Didier, I did not know the kitchen garden of the lazy a week ago and I am very interested. I would like to produce my vegetables (courgettes, oggines ...), my fruits mainly on trees, my legumes (lentils, chickpeas, peas ...), some oilseeds (sunflower, rapeseed ...) and cereals (wheat, maize). And 4 hens for eggs. Only the milk and the meat would be bought in the trade, all the rest produced in my house. In your opinion, would 400 to 500 m2 field be enough and how long should I spend there each day? I had also thought of a greenhouse to extend crop seasons and grow on vertical structures with compost-based crop and garden residues including straw mixed in. What do you think about parasites and productivity?

  21. Hello,
    I read some remarks about growing bulbs: onions, shallots and garlic on hay,
    I really want to get going, are there any more back? and advice

  22. Hello Didier
    Thank you for all your good advice
    You told us one day (at Biobernai) of a John I think, to provide organic hay.
    Where can I find it?
    Thank you

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