Sheet Mulching Project on the Farm What you need to know

This post, My Sheet Mulching Project on the Farm, is about a sheet mulching project I did in the month of April 2016 in my garden area at the farm.  I worked on the project over the course of three weeks, just on weekends, and completed about ¾ of the project.  I couldn’t complete the last ¼ because I ran out of a critical supply.

My Sheet Mulching Project

My Sheet Mulching Project

There is a YouTube video below that shows the stages of the project as I went along.  I also have pictures throughout this post.  I tried to follow the steps outlined in the post titled Sheet mulching or lasagna gardening, and I tried to keep the costs as low as possible by following the advice in the post titled Sheet mulching on the cheap.

The First Weekend

The first weekend I acquired material to include horse manure, gypsum, bags of leaves, and some cardboard boxes.  The first thing we did was to dig up large clumps of grass and weeds and cut down other weeds while leveling the area.  After the area was leveled we watered the ground and then put composted horse manure down.

The second weekend we acquired more material to include more horse manure, more cardboard and 4’x4’ rolls of hay.  It was rather time consuming to get all of the tape off of the cardboard, so we did end up running out of time.  We managed to wet the cardboard and get half of the garden area covered with cardboard.  We then put manure on top of the cardboard and then a 4” layer of hay on top of that.

The Third Weekend

Sheet Mulch Steps

Sheet Mulch Progress

On the third weekend we acquired more material to include more horse manure, more hay, and mulch.  We tried to get some more cardboard, but was unable to find any.  We were able to completed ¼ more of the garden area with cardboard before we ran out.  Due to weed population, we are unable to find a workaround and will just have to move on and complete the last ¼ of the garden area when we have all of the supplies that we need.

We did manage to completely finish ¾ of the garden area.  Previously, we had 4” of hay on top of the cardboard.  We added some leaves that we had and then another layer of manure followed by another 4” of hay and then 2 to 6” of mulch on top of everything to weight it all down and keep it moist.  I did mess the directions up a little by putting manure on top of the leaves and then more hay.  We should have put the hay directly on top of the leaves and then put the manure on top of the hay followed by the mulch.  I don’t think it will matter that much though.

Please use this post and the other two posts to try one of these yourself.  I will post updates on the progress of this garden area later this summer.

Here is the YouTube video of the project as it progressed:

Tell us what you think about My Sheet Mulching Project on the Farm by commenting below.

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  • Lydia P says:

    Hi Todd, I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while. Very informative. I’m unsure of the time frame here – if I understand correctly, you did the sheet mulch in April 2016, and by now (September 2016) you’re already harvesting tomatoes, etc. Is that correct or am I misunderstanding? How soon after laying the sheet mulch were you able to start planting?

    • Todd McCree says:

      Hi Lydia, The time frame that you figured out is correct. I installed the sheet mulched garden in April and started planting into it in May. Because it was new, I just pushed the sheet mulch to the side where I was planting and then I added a handful or two of potting soil and then planted into the potting soil. It worked great. If you go by the book, the sheet mulch is suppose to “bake” for six months before you plant into it. Most sources recommend putting it in during the fall and then planting the following spring. That timeline didn’t work for me and I have a wonderful garden because of it. Thanks for posting your question!

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