Sheet Mulching 101 (part 1 of 2)

Valerie Fontaine, Dec 14, 2012

What is sheet mulching? Just the quickest, easiest way to go from a thirsty, outdated green shag carpet of a landscape to a sustainable garden in about the time it takes to mow the lawn.

Follow these easy steps and you can do what fabulous TreePeople member and volunteer Valerie Fontaine recently did at her house. Once you go green, you’ll never go back.

  • Cover the lawn with 1 layer of cardboard or 6 layers of newspaper. Be sure to overlap by at least 6 inches to prevent the grass from growing through. Also remove any glossy ads from newspaper and tape or labels from boxes. You just want pure paper or cardboard.
  • Add 4 – 6 inches of mulch on top. (Mulch is basically wood chips that are used to help slow evaporation and enrich the soil.)
  • Water the area and keep it moist.
  • Wait 2 months and dig through to plant. The cardboard and paper will biodegrade and become part of the soil.

In our next installment, we’ll answer some FAQs on sheet mulching.

Need more inspiration? Come to our next FREE Community Sustainability Workshops on February 23 to learn other water harvesting and turf reduction techniques to grow a green city.

Lisa Cahill first began her work with TreePeople as a volunteer Citizen Forester. She currently serves on the board of directors for the reDiscover Center, continues to volunteer as a Citizen Forester, has been on the Mar Vista Green Garden Tour and serves on several green committees at her church and children's schools. She most enjoys working in the garden with her husband, watching her children and vegetables grow.