Sheet Mulching: Composting on the Ground is Much Easier

Categories: Permaculture

I am sheet mulching 2 beds in my zone 1 garden to build NEW soil life in areas where it has been depleted. This is basically just like composting but is ok if it needs to take longer (because there is no turning) and it is considered "composting in place". I like this idea because I don't have certain items I need to start a compost bin just yet and also because science shows when you shovel compost out of a bin you are disturbing the millions of microscopic lifeforms that have been living there CREATING that rich living soil for you.

So when you disturb them you kill a good chunk of them before the great new compost gets to your garden. So doing sheet mulching and composting in place I'm going to have RICHER soil in 2-3 mths, compared to doing a 2-4 week compost bin and then moving that new soil. I will also do a compost bin but I like this method for areas where I don't need to plant anything for 1-3 mths. And I'll also add that this isn't fresh manure. Fresh manure can burn your plants and roots. That's why (just in case) I didn't put it right up around the base of the trees. And if I choose to plant anything in these within 30 days what I'll do is pull back the straw and manure and dig a small hole, put FRESH DIRT in it, plant the seed or plants in the new dirt, cover in new dirt and then cover back up with the manure and hay.

So in just the first 1/4 of the book Gaia’s Garden it dives into soil fertility, reviving life in your soil and that you really have to start…for lack of a better phrase…”from the ground up”. And you do that by starting with your soil. Yes you can plant things in crappy soil and then just add fertilizer but why make yourself need to have to buy something that only gives you temporary “fertility” and then you have to redo quarterly or year? If you promote healthy soil life and then take care of it (which is actually less work than you might think) then your soil becomes living soil and it will go through the normal ecological cycles of life all on it’s own and take care of everything you have planted in it.

I just cannot say ENOUGH about the huge kudos I give to the author of this book Toby Hemenway! It has changed how I look at EVERYTHING in relation to gardening. And I have utmost confidence that I will be able to put certain things in place that will make my land here in the “barren desert” very fertile and fruitful! I just know it! 

Yesterday I started working on the sheet mulching project for 2 beds in my zone 1 garden and I decided to do a video about that. I’ll be wrapping up this project in the next few days and so there will be more videos to come.

Now check out this video of the sheet mulching process, layers and stages.

by Elizabeth / via LittleFarmBigDreams

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