[permaculture] Soil Question
toby at patternliteracy.com
Mon Apr 16 12:49:53 EDT 2007
The mistake here was the black plastic. I've never seen instructions for
sheet mulch that say to add that, so whoever instructed you to go that route
has caused a big headache. The soil decomposers need air and free moisture
circulation to work effectively. The plastic prevented the microbes from
getting air and water, and so they couldn't decompose the grass. The patch
probably dried out when the decomposers consumed all the water in their
initial growth spurt, and with the lack of oxygen, too, left you with
mummified grass. If you till it in, (assuming the grass is dead and not just
dormant) you'll at least capture the biomass of the grass, so that might be
better than removal. But either approach has defeated the whole purpose of
sheet mulch, which is to avoid tilling or scalping off the vegetation.
Thanks, though, for the valuable lesson.
On 4/15/07 8:05 PM, "Primal Parent" wrote:
> hello. we have a soil dilemma and hope someone out there can help us out.
> two autumn's ago we attempted to sheet mulch a large (future) garden space.
> we laid down cardboard, leaves, horse manure, and straw and then covered
> everything with a sheet of black plastic hoping it would be ready for the
> over the winter we decided to move elsewhere first and after arriving here
> (a year late) we have discovered the area can be best described as "choked
> with dense dead grass." the landowner removed the black plastic but we are
> unsure if he tried to seed it or not (the only explaination we can think
> of). the actual soil underneath it, however is dark, rich and lush.
> so our question is do we till the grass under/into it? or should we attempt
> to remove the "top layer" meaning the grass and whatever roots we can
> we can't understand why there is a large light-brown rectangle where the
> soil underneath is near perfect.
> any advice?
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