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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

How to sheet mulch

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Step-by-Step Techniques
When to start your sheet-mulch project?
The best time of year to shrink your lawn and start sheet-mulching is in the spring. Starting a project in the wet fall or winter increases the chance of premature break-down. If you sheet mulch in the spring, the weeds and grass will be dead by fall and your bed will be ready for planting.

-Compost: (Only necessary if your soil is poor and needs a boost before plantings)
-Cardboard: All tape and staples should be removed. Newspaper can be substituted, though it's not as strong, so it should be laid at least a half inch thick.
-Edging Material: Consider using a recycled material. Avoid cheap plastic edging that flops over.
-Mulch: Use an organic mulch (mulch made from living materials). Possibilities include compost, leaves, grass clippings, hay and straw, pine needles, wood chips or tree trimmings, or composted dairy manure. Ground up tree trimmings are best; it will discourage weed growth on top of your sheet barrier and feed your soil.

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