Compost, Mulch, Etc

Is Human Hair Really a Great Fertilizer for your Garden?

On Yahoo! Canada today there was a news article from ABC News entitled “Hair: the best fertilizer?” – all about using human hair as fertilizer for plants. At first I thought perhaps it was a new exciting way to fertilizer my garden, but the article’s title was a little misleading.

The article talks about a nursery in Florida that uses human hair that has been pressed into mats for weed control around their plants. The nursery owner says that he’s saved thousands of dollars on herbicides and labour because of the human hair mats.

That sounds a lot more like weed suppression than fertilizer to me.

No where on the internet can I find anything about human hair being a fertilizer, though it would have merit as a weed suppressant – just like plastic mulch, wood chips, hay, and host of other materials. For my garden, I think I’d much rather lay down a strip of plastic mulch than a wad of hair.

So before you rush out to buy a truck load of human hair, check out some mulching ideas from Bob at for a simpler, easier way to suppress weeds and retain moisture.

Read ABC’s article.

Watch ABC’s video.

6 replies on “Is Human Hair Really a Great Fertilizer for your Garden?”

Hmm, fertilizer, mulch, what about pest deterrent? Garden Rant mentioned the same product, with a photo that looked like round wads of dark brown,…I don’t know what. Kind of yucky. I have tried human and cat hair in the garden to deter squirrels from diggin and in vole holes hoping to make them go away. Neither did much good. It has been suggested to add it to the compost pile, but what if the hair is dyed or permed? Does that affect it’s purity?
Frances at Faire Garden

I’ve heard that human hair deters deer – though I’m not sure about other pests. I’ve never tried it. And as far as compost goes, I’m not sure I’d want to add hair to my compost pile. It just doesn’t seem right. Thanks for your thoughts, Frances!

I cut my BF’s hair and swept it into my garden bed. I planted watermelons and the deer come up at night and leave prints in the bed. I’m hoping this will help keep them away. We’ll see. I don’t want them munching on my baby melons.

It’s better than chopping down trees or using plastic! There’s loads of hair going to waste, I think it’s a great idea. If you were all as green as you think you are, there’s no way you would be putting plastic on your garden……Good luck to hair mats!

You might be interested by this article:

Maybe there wasn’t much information when your article was posted, but now there seems to be plenty of info online about using hair as fertilizer. It is very high in nitrogen and various nutrients (it has a higher percentage of nitrogen than manure), but it biodegrades slowly so it isn’t so much a fertilizer as it is a mulch, like you said. To turn it into fertilizer it can be added to a compost pile, which will break it down more quickly. Anyway, anyone interested should be able to find plenty of information with a search engine.

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