• Mark
    June 28, 2018

    A well presented argument but based on a false statement at point 1.
    Sheet mulching doesn’t remove organic matter.
    It creates compost under the sheet and adds to it above the sheet eventually creating a rich environment.
    Your comment about your friend having great soil already ignores the fact the he is still creating better soil.
    Another of your points that unless you are using your own cardboard negates the benefits is also flawed as by using other people’s waste still reduces waste to landfill.
    As for washing away in the rain…. Seriously Peter.
    By the way I don’t sheet mulch and agree 100% that weeds are a great soil building resource.
    I have built a beautiful 6 inch depth of soil on clay with nothing other than weeds, animal manure and mulch.
    Love your posts which I hope make people think beyond what they read on the internet and think for themselves.
    I’m sure you intend to be an agent provocateur.

    • June 28, 2018

      Thanks for the compliments, yes I do feel like a provcateur at times, started that way when I was a child and now I am 61. Like to respond on your points.
      1. Remove organic matter – the sheet mulching kills off the weeds and grass. What remains of this will go into the soil, but that does not mean it creates good compost. Good compost comes from a controlled process involving an array of inputs without chemicals, the cardboard leaches chemicals into the base soil with sheet mulching. If you dig up part of your lawn which has weeds and seeds on it, that does not mean its producing the type of soil you need to grow food. And yes, the statement of mine is provocative in the sense that you have to take something away with dead inputs with sheet mulching (killing the plant life) and create life again with a highly resource intensive process, when by fine tuning what is there in state, you could achieve a better result with less effort. I am highly pragmatic with my gardening
      2. With making good soil on top and often this is with the lasagna method, I have seen this result many times and it is nitrogen rich the first time, then looses substance very quickly, unless a lot more matter is added over time, thus continual bringing of dead matter, rather than using a living process. The “good soil” my friend wanted to create was likely to be loaded with chemicals, the matter he introduced had not gone through any hot composting process to burn up the nasties and even the mulch was from chemical farming, so that is not good soil in my book
      3. With the materials being washed away, I have seen this, in our extreme wet season. I appreciate that after a reasonable amount of time, things will bind together somewhat, but when I compare to using a green manure crop in our wet season, it just keep growing the more rain it gets and holds the soil beautifully.

      I will attempt to keep up my thought provoking posts. Thanks for reading.
      regards Peter

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