Do you know the secret to much easier gardening?
Whether you have drought or not, who wants to spend time watering the garden?
Here is a method to water the garden just a few times a summer. And you can forget
about pulling weeds!
You can try this out with a small fall garden to see if you like it. Fall is a great time to grow salad greens. Cut them and they grow back!
Here’s how to sheet mulch. (For the easiest sheet mulch method, skip down the page a bit.)
Simple Sheet Mulching
1. Cut down any plants you don’t want in the new garden area. Do not dig up any sod or growing grass as it will decompose. Same with plant roots from weeds or other plants. No digging!
2. This step is not totally necessary, but can only help. Lay down any kind of compost ingredients you have. Coffee grounds are great and are free from Starbucks. Fresh weeds and plant matter are fine. Manure if you have it. Some people even lay down old wool or cotton blankets as they will decompose eventually.
2. Put cardboard and/or newspaper over area of your garden. If using newspapers spread them in thick layers.
3. Sprinkle cardboard with water. You can use a sprinkler for this.
4. Walk on the cardboard until it gets wrinkly.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until cardboard seems to have absorbed some of the water.
5. Add straw (NOT hay) in a thick layer. Break up bales of straw for this. (Buy bales at a feed store.) Some people use grass clippings also. Just keep adding grass clippings to the top of the straw throughout the lawn mowing season.
6. Water the layer of straw thoroughly. Done!
Don’t water again unless the straw is dry all the way through. It will pick up dew each morning, so even if you don’t get rain, it will hold moisture .
This is the most simple way of making sheet mulch. It keeps out weeds and keeps in water/moisture/dew for your plants. Happier plants and less work for you!
Easiest Sheet Mulch Method
1. Spread layers of newspaper over garden area. (Again, no need to dig.)
2. Top with grass clippings.
3. Water until soaked.
4. Tear a hole in the newspapers to plant a plant.
5. Keep all watered until you have enough grass clippings to hold the moisture.
I know people who grew wonderful vegetables using this newspaper and grass clippings method. So simple and so effective!
Looking ahead to next spring, you might want to start collecting cardboard and newspapers! Happy gardening!