Sheet mulching

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by j.bruce, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    dunno i might have it wrong but when i use cardboard/paper i wet it then cover it with my chosen medium usually mushroom compost then water again and then cover with mulch ok! the cardboard/paper never dries and it rots away as the worms chew through it ok.

    len :)
     
  2. j.bruce

    j.bruce Junior Member

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    Thanks guys, it seems that i'm going to have to rip up the cardboard and do the overlapping thing. I just can't let new seedlings sit with their feet in the water!
     
  3. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Another thought before you rip it up. All you want to do is provide some drainage, right? So why not just jam an old knife through the cardboard where you want to plant? The water will drain, the roots will find their way down into the soil.

    Sue
     
  4. j.bruce

    j.bruce Junior Member

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    I thought that was kind of out... I understand that the it would work, technically, but that is kind of the reason for putting down a weed barrier. I'm using the cold frame for sowing seeds.... therefore they need good drainage. There really is no reason why i can't just cut and layer the cardboard..... it'll potentially solve a few problems.
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    the cardboard or newspaper won't hold the water back it just stays damp/moist as part of the rotting process the worms will soon eat their way through it, just lay it overlapped and cover with the medium you'll be right.

    len
     
  6. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy Junior Member

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    I am also a big fan of mushroom compost. As well as using in nodig gardens, sheet mulching etc, it is great for giving some body to your soil. It helps to get the water into the soil and helps keep it there.

    If you use it on its own you are going to have trouble due to the fact that most of the nutrients seem to have been used up by the mushroom growing process. Need to add lots of manure, compost etc. Another idea is to put the composted relativelly dry stuff that you buy from the ladscape place into your chook pen for a while and let the chooks manure it before putting it into the garden.

    In my first year at my current place I grew tomatos, eggplants and asparagus in a built up bed that was esentially only musshy compost. Everything grew well. It took about 6 months for the worms to really start liking the bed, but from then they have gone mental and have incorporated the subsoil into the mushy compost. These beds are always the first that the chooks head to when I free range them - heaps of worms for them.

    I have also used mushy compost to make up a good potting mix. I mixed it 50/50 with some soil I purchased that purported to be "premium" garden mix. THe stuff was so crap (as it normally is) that I used it with the mushy compost for this other purpose. On the first water it ended up really muddy/soggy and I thought I had made a mistake doing it. But from then on it has been really good and the plants that I have in these pots (a bay tree in 1 and a pitaya (dragon fruit) in the other) have flourished.

    If used right it's great stuff - experiment with it. I just wish that I could get it cheaper.
     
  7. gidgetstar

    gidgetstar Junior Member

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    Hi all
    When you say you use mushroom compost, are you talking stuff you have sourced from a mushroom grower or the bagged stuff from a garden centre or bulk delivered from a landscaper?

    I've just started sheet mulching in my fair sized suburban yard and am doing it bit by bit with the resources I have. I have a few street trees out front which are deciduous and providing me with lots of fallen leaves to use. The issue I have is that I have to buy the manures prepackaged.

    My recipie I've used so far is:

    * water soil
    * kitchen scraps
    * prepackaged chicken/cow manure
    * newspaper, 4 -5 sheets thick, overlapping
    * water again
    * fallen leaves
    * pea straw
    * final drenching

    What do you think? I'm also about to set up some raised beds for my veggie plots.
     
  8. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day gidgetstar,

    i have used it fresh from the farm and partly decomposed in bulk from the landscape centre, i have never used the retail bagged stuff reckon it'd be too dear overall.

    your recipe sounds pretty good for me i'd be trying to source the cow manure from where the cows are in their yards lots more urine in it then, or look for a goat farmer and get hold of that stuff even horse manure from their stalls provided they haven't recently been wormed. other thiongs to use at the base prunning no need to shred them any large weeds or such like even grass clippings then put the mushy stuff last and thickest.

    len
     
  9. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    That doesn't sound too bad to me. How deep are you making it? the usual recommendation is a minimum of 8"/20 cm.

    Buying the bagged manure tends to be expensive. Can you find it locally by the cubic meter? Around here (U.S.), I can buy it for a dollar a bag (about 1 cu ft), or delivered by the cubic yard for $5/ cu. yard (27 times as much). If you know someone who has a truck, some of the horse/cattle places will load it for you with their equipment. Find someone with a garden AND a truck, and trade the know-where for the help-with.

    Sue
     
  10. gidgetstar

    gidgetstar Junior Member

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    A few weeks later

    Now that the mulch has been down for a while, I find it is blowing around a lot and the whole lot is lifting in places.....

    I've just had some soil delivered for another section of the yard - should I put some of that on top and water down??????
     
  11. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    The problem with putting dirt on the top is that it may contain weed seeds that will sprout, and weed seeds from outside your mulched area may blow in and sprout.

    Has it been dry there? Could you just water down the mulch?

    Sue
     
  12. lukelad

    lukelad New Member

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    Re: Sheet mulching

    Hi, can I sheet mulch using non glossy newspaper with couloured print? It seems to be impossible to find newspaper without colored print these days. And also, can I plant through the newspaper into the soil below without letting the weeds through?

    Thanks
    Luke
     

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