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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Anyone done Instant Bed lasagna beds?

Anyone done Instant Bed lasagna beds?

A former member
Post #: 81
I'll bet that seaweed is a slug deterrent due to the salt, which of course slugs can not handle at all...?
Gorham, ME
Post #: 12
I plan on adding an herb garden, but herbs generally like less fertile soils, it seems. Will there be any problems planting the various herbs in a fresh sheet mulch bed?

Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 14
Herbs are known for being able to grow anywhere, so I wouldn't think there would be a problem.

If you're looking for a source of aged manure, there is a small miniature horse farm there in Gorham that last fall had a huge pile of it. I can't tell you where it is because I went with someone else. John found it on Craig's list, so you could see if it's still there. The guy even helped us put it in the truck he wanted so badly to get rid of it.
A former member
Post #: 83
In my experience one problem with thick mulching in our cold climate is that plants such as tomatoes and many herbs that like warm soil are not happy till the soil has really warmed up and mulch does slow down the soil warming in the spring.

I've never seen a "herb spiral" but have read the many comments here. I googled it and found several different pictures and plan to try my own version next spring. My soil is very silty, almost clay, and does not appear to drain very well so I expect the drainage will improve for those plants that prefer dry soil. As for the rocks, which I understand heat up and add warmth, I plan to use perhaps some larger than suggested and shoot for something natural looking rather than man-made. I am very excited about it and looking forward to playing around with it.
A former member
Post #: 48
Yeah, today, I was reading in Nancy Bubel's Seed Starting Handbook, that tilled soil and raised beds warm up about two weeks earlier than untilled soil.So, I too had been wondering about how sheet mulching affects soil warmth and whether one should push it aside in the spring to let things warm up but then put it back? I guess it depends of course, on what you're planting. Is there a rule of thumb or does anyone have experience walking the line between trying to get the soil to warm and the tremendous benefits of sheet mulch?

A former member
Post #: 86
Well I can say this: To lay a large clear plastic sheet over your garden for a few days heats the soil to bath water temp for several inches down. But there you go using plastic again, and I don't know if that is justified.

Perhaps one should experiment with some tomatoes in soil with the mulch pushed away till warmer weather. It wouldn't take long to see which toms were happier.

BTW, you know how we always plant tomatoes deep since roots do grow from the stem? Well I quit doing that a few years ago since the soil is colder down deeper, which they hate.
Gorham, ME
Post #: 14
Mary, I don't plant my tomatoes that deep. I usually tunnel mine, so the base of the stems are almost horizontal, all depending on the size of the tomatoes. But then, I usually only have a dozen or so tomatoes. This year I should have room for 2-3 times the number of last year.

Being a pragmatist about it, I am interested in permaculture because it will hopefully allow me to expand my garden with much less back breaking labor; both initially and in seasons to come.

Add to that, it will hopefully produce a greater output.
A former member
Post #: 87
Ha, you would have just loved Ruth Stout. I remember when I first started gardening many years ago. I read everything I could find and finally realized that most of it was bunk--they were all reading each other and just spreading the misinformation around. After I read Stout's book I never tilled again and kept a thick mulch on my garden year round. I can remember I used to say, "I've got the only garden I've ever seen that could burn down!". biggrin
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 2
yep reading this discussion ruth stout's "no work garden book" sprang to mind. what a saucy gal w/ lots of great, down-to-earth tips. her response to those worried about the soil not warming up was to simply move the mulch aside to expose the soil to the sun for a while, plant, then slowly bring the mulch back around the plants as they emerged.

i would second the recommendation of putting plastic (i use black plastic) over an area where heat lovers are to be planted. check the dumpsters of your local hardware store.... yes, it's using plastic, but it's giving it a second life instead of it heading right to the dump/incinerator! plus we find lots of uses for that black plastic (it's like a light tarp in weight) and keeping it dry and stored properly it lasts for a while.
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 124
I have a friend who used seaweed and still had a slug problem. It may deter them somewhat but it won't stop a determined one. I have some seaweed waste (compressed boiled seaweed and perlite) from the carageenan plant to try. I have not solved my enormous slug problem yet.
I'll let you know if it works as top dressing.
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