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Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Food and Gardening | 3 comments

Expanding the Garden

Expanding the Garden

On what was probably one of the last warm-ish days of the fall, I decided to prepare a new garden bed for use next season.  With the tons of fallen leaves we have piled up around the property as well as a couple yards of wood mulch left over from having a tree taken down at the end of the summer and a bunch of cardboard boxes sitting around in the basement, I had what I needed to do some simple sheet mulching.

Sheet mulching is basically the process of piling a bunch of stuff on top of a plot of land in order to build organic material and nutrients in the soil while killing weeds.  A thorough sheet mulching job can involve a whole lot of layers:


I didn’t do such a thorough job.  The soil test we had done a few months back suggests our soil actually has fairly good nutrient content.  What I really wanted was to kill off the existing grass and weeds, add organic matter, and add a layer of looser material on top of the ground, which is rocky and hard to dig out.  I just used a layer of leaves for organic material, a layer of cardboard to smother weeds, and then wood mulch on top to hold everything down (and provide more organic material).

sheet mulch

I didn’t have enough cardboard to form a solid overlapping layer so I might have some weeds come back, but I’m hoping we have a pretty clear and fertile patch to start planting come spring.  I just got Eric Toensmeier’s Perennial Vegetables as a Hannukah gift and I’m looking to find some inspiration there.

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  1. Hello,

    I’m trying to look at the nice garden pictures, but my eyes keep going back to the second story door-to-nowhere! :) Was there originally a balconey there?

    • We don’t really know. We haven’t been able to identify any marks in the masonry that would identify where the balcony was, but then they might have been patched over. It’s a bit of a mystery.

  2. Looks great! My father-in-law used to do the lasagna garden version of this, with multiple layers of paper, hay, and compost. Fun times with copious shoveling.

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