Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Is Sheet Mulching?

These are not actual bed sheets, although if you had some old ones they could be recycled into the garden as well. But they would probably be better utilized for other projects.

In the photo are paper sheets. They were headed for the trash by a family that had recently moved into their new home. Along with all the paper used to pack their belongings was all of the boxes.

Fortunately for us it was all rescued and put to good use. It was a Huge Score!!

Sheet Mulching is used to help smoother out weeds instead of the use of  herbicide chemicals. It prevents soil erosion and helps retain moisture.

Sheet mulching also keeps all those beneficial microbes and nutrients undisturbed deep into the soil.

Tilling would cause the release of carbons into the atmosphere, which are the main cause of greenhouse gases.

Carbons are organic matter. Organic matter is what your garden thrives on. Organic matter is what makes a healthy loose and living soil.

When your soil is healthy your plants will be as well. Healthy soil in organic gardening is what keeps your plants free from pests and diseases.

There are many different ways to apply sheet mulching. Many gardeners will apply composts and manures before laying down the paper and boxes.

Once the sheets are applied the next step is to water them in. This helps to keep them from blowing in the wind and gives you time to get to the next step.

The next step involves adding a layer of mulched organic matter. This includes things like hay, tree shavings, bark wood chips, dried leaves and other aged shredded organic material.

I prefer to top layer with at least 2 to 3 inches of organic material. Although I've been known to go thicker with it, depending on the application and what the particular project is I'm working on.

For instance, this area of thornless blackberries was top layered rather thick. The blackberries will appreciate the extra moisture when late spring rolls around. Especially if we haven't received adequate rainfall.

Once this part of my project is completed, it is time for planting and sowing seeds.

I'll show you how I do it in my next post. For now we have much work to do.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Now I know what I will be doing this weekend. I found this a really useful post, thank you.