Sheet Mulching Howto




Discussion and demonstration of sheet mulching for berry and food production using free cardboard and hay from local sources. There is a lot more information available on the internet and in books on this, but I thought a video showing my application might help people see how easy and accessible it is.



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    8 Discussions

    Wowwwie.. Thanks for this. Yes their is info on the web, but this is fantastic. I haven't been doing my cardboard right. I was laying it out like a puzzle, fitting the edges together. My hay goes from green to rotting, but I thought I was supposed to add different kinds of leaves, for more nutrients.. I was told 3 inches, but by the time I get enough cuttings on the pile has shrunk. . ..

    2 replies

    The more material you can feed under the sheet mulch / cardboard before you begin the better I'd say.  If you have a ton of old leaves / manure / unfinished compost you could apply to the ground before you mulched, the better off you'd be.  You just want to make sure it's a weed seed free material you cover the cardboard with.


    Glad this video was helpful to you! So yeah, the cardboard should always overlap at least 6 inches, if you have a ton of it available, the more the overlap, the better, it really goes a long way in weed supression. when they are next to each other there will be weeds at those spots for sure. You can certainly add a lot of leaves, finished compost, grass clippings, etc., under the cardboard if you wanted to increase fertility. That's always a bonus but not critical for it to work. Best of luck!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love how melodic and soothing your voice is. I had to listen to your video a few times in order to concentrate on what you were telling me. lol, great video, great voice, really nice hands! I'm assuming you're not in a high wind area. Is the purpose of this to retain moisture, attract worms, reduce weeds, and then you'll till it all under in a few years to add tilth? Would this help after a few years of decomposing, to loosen clay soil that has been compacted from livestock and tractors? I am a late blooming gardner and have been soaking up as much info as I can here and on "Daves Garden" as well. Thanks for making an old ladie's heart flutter :)

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well thanks for the nice comments suezq...!

     So I don't have any intention of tilling any of this under in the future.  The idea is to use it as a tool to get rid of the need to till... It supresses all the weeds for you, and I'm not sure exactly if it would help with a tight clay soil, but I would assume so.  In that scenario I might put down a lot more unfinished compost / hay / manure *under* the cardboard to give the worms a lot to eat and move through the clay, and increase organic life under there.
     I hope the process makes sense and that it can help you with your projects!



    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Not sure there is a definitive answer for that.  How long does the weed supression last?... about a solid growing season or two.  How long does it help improve soil health and tilth... seemingly for years. 
     The trick is to not look at it as a time based solution, but see it as the start of setting the space in motion in a new direction.  You sheet mulch, then you plant in the species you want so when the weed suppression fades, the plants are already really well established.  Hope this answer helps, hope you give it a shot!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    True, but I also have to look at it in a I-have-a-bad-back-will-I-have-to-replace-this-once-a-month point of view also ;) 

    I was considering using this instead of weed barrier cloth under raised beds, because the weed barrier cloth they make these days has misprints on the packaging.  It does not "last 20 years", more like 20 days before it's shredded and weeds are poking through.  This seems to me that it would last longer, although I am concerned about earwigs moving in and calling it home . . . I'll just have to play around with it in a few months when spring arrives and see how it goes!  Thanks again!