On Saturday a working bee in the Warrane Community Garden used cardboard to productively sheet-mulch a large area. Friend K reported:
‘For those not familiar with sheet-mulching, it is a simple process with many benefits. To sheet-mulch a large area, the more hands the better! The working team is so appreciative of everyone who made this result possible at our first open working bee, including members from – @clarenceclimateaction, @PermacultureTasmaniaHobartEasternShoreLocals, Rotary and @ClarenceCityCouncil. Thank you all!
Benefits of sheet mulching:
- reduces the area needing to be mowed/whipper-snipped while also forming part of the no toxin weed management strategy around our beds.
- this means more time for vollies to focus on getting other stuff done
- the organic matter beneath the sheet-mulch breaks down and feeds the soil. This increases overall soil health within the garden.
- in our case the existing weeds contributed to some uneven surfaces around the raised beds. By mulching this area we made it more even, and so more accessible to all.
- it looks pretty good
- existing grass/weeds were cut as low to the surface as possible (thanks to Clarence City Council for once again helping us with this)
- an edge was cut around the area to act as a barrier against pushy runner grasses (the edge still needs to be maintained over time).
- all of the plastic & tape on cardboard and glossy catalogues in newspapers were removed before laying out
- the edge and area was then covered in a thick layer of overlapping *completely wet* sheets of cardboard or newspaper – cardboard is generally hardier on pathways. For best results, any gaps or holes were covered as soon as they were spotted.
- covered cardboard/newspaper sheets with bark mulch. We had been donated a few different batches so we have some colour difference visible here.’
Before the work was undertaken, the ground was covered in a combination of grasses and weeds.
After sheet-mulching, the areas were much flatter and cleaner with a layer of bark mulch overlaying the cardboard.
The Warrane Community Garden has its own Facebook site where you can see more information and photos of the successful work undertaken.