Cardboard is the 1st layer (Photo by naturalflow)

Cardboard is the 1st layer (Photo by naturalflow)

It’s autumn —  time to pull up and compost dead garden plants, empty  planters, and store garden decor for the winter.   Yet now is also a great time to start a new garden and let nature do the work for you!

Sheet mulching is a technique where you cover the ground with overlapping pieces of biodegradable material, such as cardboard, to prevent grass and weeds from getting sunlight.  Then you top the cardboard with mulch or compost.

Sheet mulching is a great way to transform lawn into a new garden area that requires less water  to maintain and provides more diversity…without the use of chemicals or hard labor to kill the lawn.  Lawn To Garden, a website by StopWaste  (a California public agency responsible for reducing waste), lists the benefits of sheet mulching and provides resources & information on how to sheet mulch.  Check out & download their “Sheet Mulch Party Toolkit” and involve your family & friends in transforming your lawn into garden in a short amount of time!

Sheet mulching:

  1. Saves time, money and water.
  2. Builds healthy soil.
  3. Can create attractive drought-tolerant gardens.
  4. Eliminates the need for grass and weed-killing herbicides.

Lawn to Garden has a good video (7:29 minutes) on sheet mulching.  I also like this short (2:29 minute) video by Seattle Seedling.  Love her idea of using chicken bedding for the compost to put over the cardboard!  Thanks, Seattle Seedling!  These two videos provide the information you need to easily turn lawn into garden.

Turning lawn into garden creates a more diverse landscape that benefits pollinators! This week, I’m sheet mulching a small area of lawn to create a butterfly garden that we’ll plant next spring.  I’m excited – no digging up and hauling off heavy grass sod AND leaving the sod in place maintains the top inches of organic matter and the soil organisms living there.

One small step at a time…one more step on our ecofriendly journey!

 

 

 

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