Okay before we get to far let me just say that this is not about bed sheets but it is a very viable way to make flower beds or vegetable beds. In fact the idea of using sheet mulching methods is an organic way of converting grass lawns, weed fields, or other areas into rich weed free garden space using all natural methods and it is completely chemical free.
The idea of taking a piece of ground say 1200 square feet and digging up the grass and removing it to build a garden bed gets me tired just thinking about the work involved. Once the grass is removed of course you will need to loosen the soil and then amend it so that you can grow in it.There will be of course the weeds that you will have to contend with as well. The use of sheet mulching will help you with these task with out expending as much energy as the traditional method.
Sheet mulching takes the existing soil and plant materials and turns them into a rich humus filled bed by letting nature do most of the work. The materials for this are almost no cost or at most very little so it is very affordable. The biggest part is your labor but that is a pretty good investment of your time for the benefits you will receive.
Making A Planting Bed
- The first step is to define the area you want to turn into a bed and mark it off. Next take a mulching mower and go over the area a couple of times as the lowest setting. Do not remove any of the clippings just leave them in place.
- After the area has been mowed down spread 2″ to 3″ of compost over the area. This can also be horse manure or some other all natural compost.
- Gather together corrugated cardboard enough to cover the whole area. Be sure that the cardboard is not waxed and no printing if possible. Place a layer of cardboard over the compost and wet it until it is damp.
- Get wood chips and mulch the whole area with 5″ to 6″ of wood chips . You can get free wood chips from most municipalities or even tree services. Once you have spread the wood chips it will take about two months for the material you mulched up to be broken down. Worms will start to arate the soil and turn everything into some beautiful growing medium.
When you are ready to plant just pull back the chips and dig your hole but eh plant in and then pull the chips back around to cover the area again. When working around trees it is import to keep the mulch back from the trunk so that the moisture does not start to rot the tree trunk. There you have a way to turn a piece of wasted ground into a great weed free planting bed.