Sheet-Mulching with Sidwell Friends School

November 15th, 2013

On Thursday, Sidwell Friends’ fifth-grade class came out for a terrific field trip and service learning visit. Thankfully the weather improved from earlier in the week, so it was a beautiful day to mulch our fields!

We are employing a technique called sheet-mulching, which adds organic material to a bed over the course of the winter. Sheet-mulching also protects our beds from harmful soil erosion, which is caused by rain and wind. Check out our facebook post showing us sheet-mulching earlier this month.

To sheet-mulch a bed, we create a kind of ‘compost lasagna:’ first, we spread a layer of compost on the bed; then, we add a layer of wet cardboard, which will hold the compost down and slowly decompose over the next few months.

We add another layer of compost to weigh down the cardboard; finally, we add a layer of leaves for an extra boost of beneficial organic matter.

Sheet-mulching is a great job for large groups because of all the different tasks it involves: cutting up strips of cardboard, carting compost in wheelbarrows, raking leaves, and spreading everything evenly over the bed.

As you can see, we still have a few beds left to “tuck in” for the winter!

Do you know of other good ways to prep fields for the winter? Let us know on Facebook or via twitter (@RedWigglerFarm)!