The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to make a sheet mulch

Laying down cardboard for sheet mulchSheet mulching, lasagna gardening, and no-till farming are all related by the effort to grow crops without disturbing the soil.  They're trying to prevent the damage done by tilling, a common practice which mixes soil profiles, kills important soil organisms, and often causes erosion.  Instead, thick layers of organic matter are applied right on top of untouched soil, mimicking the leaf litter layer in a forest which prevents weed seeds from sprouting, holds in water, and provides a home for many soil organisms.

I would love to lasagna garden, but I just don't have the excess organic matter it requires.  I do intend to include some sheet mulching in my new forest garden, though, especially where the Japanese honeysuckle is so bad.  Monday afternoon, I tore up some old cardboard boxes I had in the barn to start the big golf cart path which will run through the north end of the forest garden.  For those of you without access to my new favorite book, here are the basic steps of a sheet mulch....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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