I’ve mentioned that I intend to sheet mulch my yard this year. To the uninitiated (including me), this is what sheet muching is, and how to do it:
Sheet Mulching for Home Gardens
The first thing to say about sheet mulching is that it saves a great deal of labour, and a great deal of water, while dispensing with the material that normally goes into a landfill. Thus mulching also saves money for public authorities, and produces an excellent soil. Another appeal is that the system is tool-free and suppresses all weeds: ivy, couch, docks, thistle, dandelions and even blackberries. Before starting, plant any large trees or shrubs from the nursery as usual. (dig a spacious hole, place the baby tree in the hole and gently back-fill, ideally with a mixture of rotted manure and soil. Gently firm around the base of the tree. Make sure the tree is suited to its siting–this should be decided previously by your planting design.)The first step (see diagram) is to sprinkle a handful of lime and a handful of chicken manure (or any organic high nitrogen manure). Nitrogen starts off the process of reducing the carbon in the following layers. Don’t bother to dig, level, or weed the area. Your first attempt should be very close to the house, preferably starting from a foundation or path which is itself weed free. Thus you are protected from invasion of weeds from the rear, so to speak.