Spring Gardening: Sheet Mulching Fallow Beds

Views: 15035 | Last Update: 2009-05-01
Mulching fallow beds that have not been planted will enrich the soil and break it up in preparation for planting. Farm and care for plants correctly and safely with these spring gardening preparation tips from an experienced farmer in this free video. View Video Transcript

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Danny Botkin

Video Transcript

OKay, we're back at Laughing Dog Farm and we're talking about sheet mulching, using partially decomposed goat bedding. This is the hay, and the poop, and the urine from the goat's pen that is very rich but far too fresh to use on any growing vegetable matter. I would never put this near any food crop that was near to harvest. However, what I can do, not only put it on fruit trees, I can use this as a sheet mulching material on fallow ground. In other words, on ground that's not going to be cropped this year. Like this dry, dusty shelf right where I'm standing. So by spreading, by spreading a stripe of sheet mulch all along the ground, doesn't look like much now. But we're going to cover it with mulch, cover it with dusty mulch, and then the worms are going to come up and they're going to attack and devour the delicious nitrogenous nutrients and turn this into some of the richest bed. So, I can leave this as a stripe of sheet mulch here which will break down over time and next year we can either grow flowers or a row of peas, or something. And, it doesn't really matter if I'm not perfect in spreading it across the ground, because that's the worm's job. The worms will turn it all back into beautiful humus. And don't forget, when you spread, when you spread heavy gage, rich compost like that, if you don't mulch it in afterwards, you're going to run the risk of losing some of it to the air. It will actually become gaseous and some of the nitrogen will escape back into the atmosphere. So, you see, I'm going to finish my job by dusting that sheet mulch down with some beautiful hay compost. Some mulch, there, and that will keep all the nutrients where they belong.