i salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. for when you are at that centre within you and i am at that place within me, we shall be one. - chief crazy horse, oglala sioux, 1877

Thursday, September 16, 2010

new sheet mulch garden this year!

our piece of land is a lovely soil specimen, filled with clay, clay, and more clay!! so, last year (summer of 2009), on the advice of someone who shall remain nameless, we spent hundreds of dollars to buy top soil and sand, and to build raised beds that allowed for 120 sq feet of growing space. we had allowed for two feet of space around each bed - for a wheelbarrow - this accomplished soooo much wasted space!!

so this year we lengthened the garden by 6 feet and removed the raised beds. we sheet mulched the entire space except pathways to get around. this is called a keyhole design. theoretically nothing is further than 2.5 feet from a path - an arm's reach - except that our inexperience led us to forget about the angle of fall of the sheet mulch layers - like dirt. so next spring we will need to widen the paths - by piling up some of the fallen layers on top. next time i would build the sheet mulch so that it is 3.5 - 4 feet wide and then allow 2 feet width for each path. then when the soil shifted and some fell towards the path, i would still have a nice wide path and be able to reach the middle of the bed!

so this is what the first end of the garden looked like when we finished the sheet mulch, but before planting. the one plant that is in there is a lemon balm that we mulched around.

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