If you’re thinking about starting a new garden or flower bed or foot path, sheet mulching is a quick and easy ‘short-cut’.  BASICALLY, SHEET MULCHING requires NO DIGGING UP GRASS OR WEEDS. ENCOURAGES MOISTURE RETENTION. ENCOURAGES WORM ACTIVITY AND “AERATION” OF THE SOIL. A MEANS OF DIRECT COMPOSTING.

For a new garden bed, it’s best to start in the Fall, but you can make-do in spring using this method. You’ll need water and a garden hose, newspaper, leaves/wood chips, compost (optional to enrich soil) and a shovel. Basically, dig a small trench (2 inch X 2 inch) outlining the footprint of your garden bed or path. Turn on the hose and layer the full-page newspapers over the grass/weeds about 5 sheets at a time, wetting them as you go so they don’t blow away. Keep layering newspaper with 5 – 10 sheets down into the trench as well. Cover wet newspaper with leaves, wood chips, etc. You may cut slits into the newspaper and plant now if you wish. Ultimately, the grass/weeds will decompose, enriching the soil. It’s simple and immediate…for all those gardeners who need instant gratification…every now and again!   



  1. Sheet mulching or lasagna gardening is something I only tried once in the past. It worked pretty good, although since, I discovered that just layers of mulch or barkdust seem to do 90% of the same job alone. With minor weeding.

    Our area has curbside rrecyling. Which means that using paper and carboard for no-till gardening here actually increases pollution, wastes oil and energy, and causes more trees to be cut down. Because the paper would be removed from the recycling pool.

    The facts discovered about recycling led me to upload a new page about that angle lately. But the layers of mulch alone are fine. And laying cardboard where recycling is not available locally is very practical too.

    MDV / Oregon

    • Thanks for your comment and another perspective. Re-using newspaper in this way is another alternative… As for layering on the bark/wood mulch, be careful of depleting the soil of required nutrients which occurs as the mulch also naturally decomposes. Depending on type of wood chips, can also increase soil pH – but now we’re splitting hairs. Best to recognize that there are ‘alternatives’ out there for gardeners. Find what works best for your circumstances and ‘greening’ our world. I prefer to start a new garden the ‘old fashioned’ way, that is, removing sod to the compost heap and double digging.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s