Sheet-mulching

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

Process:

  • 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.

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2 Responses to Sheet-mulching

  1. wilfredbooks says:

    In addition to the practical knowledge gained, this post was enjoyable for me in that I learned two new words: whipper-snipping; presumably what in Britain we call strimming; and vollies, which is charming. Thank you! Cheers, Jon.

    Like

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