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Sheet Mulching steps (from Gaia's Garden p. 72)

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 13
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Here are my notes which I agreed to share during our meeting tonight. Tom correctly said any good mulching will work, but this is called --

The Ultimate, Bomb-Proof Sheet Mulch
in and from -- Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway p. 72

1. Water area a lot & let it soak overnight.

2. Slash vegetation. Don't pull up weeds; just whack everything down in place. Remove woody pieces.

3. Add soil amendments -
If acid - lime
If alkaline - gypsum or sulfur Dusting of rock phosphate or bonemeal will supply phosphorous

Add trace minerals: greensand, kelp meal, or rock dust. (Get soil test)
Fedco Azomite A-Z Trace Minerals.

4. If soil is clayey or compact, poke holes with spading fork. (Don't turn earth)

5. Add thin layer of high-nitrogen material:
manure, blood or cottonseed meal, fresh grass clippings or other lush greens, or cast-off produce from restaurants or markets.

(If concentrated matter like rabbit manure or blood meal sprikle just to cover soil.
Grass clippings or bedding-rich manure -- about 1 inch thick.

6. Cardboard overlapped by 6 " and/or newspaper ¼ to ½ Inch thick. Wet these thoroughly. Don't walk on it.

7. Add another thin layer of nitrogen-rich manure, meal or fresh green clippings.

8. Pour on bulk mulch about 8 to 12 inches of loose straw, hay, leaves, seaweed,
Bales of hay or straw don't have to be fluffed up. Just break into thin "books" about 1 to 2 inches thick & lay down 3 to 9 inches of this.
Keep 10 - 1 carbon to nitrogen ration. e.g. If straw or esp woodchavings, -- add manure or blood meal
or "dilute" with clover hay, seaweed or grass clippings or other high nitrogen.
Keep watering, -- damp but not wet. Look for wrung-out sponge state.

9. For the seedbed, -- add 1 - 2 inches compost. or Compost plus soil to reach final thickness.

10. Final layer to get 'finished look' : 2 inches of weed-and seed-free organic matter: straw, leaves, fine bark, wood shavings, sawdust, pine needles, grain hulls (nut husks) or seagrass.
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