Erik Lee wrote:Does that sound like a ridiculous idea?
Erik Lee wrote:Was your objection to the idea of using buckwheat to shade out grass, or to the size of the project? ...budget side of things is a different story in my case unfortunately (If you have a good source for it that's pretty inexpensive I'd love to know though). I will certainly take the slower approach with bona fide mulch for the lower layer plants, but I was really hoping to get at least the large and slow growing trees started early in the process and avoid mowing between them. The lower layers I'm hoping will benefit from a few years' accumulation of buckwheat/etc. litter and root action in the soil.
Erik Lee wrote: I'll try the turf cutter/sod flipping method
Erik Lee wrote:Thanks for the input everyone, there's a lot of good info here.
Regarding the total cost of the project, this forest garden has a stronger emphasis on wild or nearly wild edibles and other useful plants. I'm getting a lot of my material from the conservation department, and for the more specialized stuff I'm raising varieties from seed or other propagation methods (grafting, etc.), so I've been able to keep my costs down to a dollar or so per tree (averaged over the garden) thus far. The shrubs, herbs, etc. will be accumulated over time by a similar process. I'm hoping to keep that up and create good and useful forest garden on a shoestring budget. I think it can be done, provided one isn't too picky about varieties.
Based on the response here, I think I'll try the turf cutter/sod flipping method, then plant the buckwheat and some other fast growing non-grass plants (legumes and accumulators) to start the shading out process. I'll update the forum after the season with the results -- worst case, it'll be like I didn't bother sheet mulching at all. Best case, maybe somebody else can save a little money establishing their own forest garden...
I cannot edit that previous post at this time, but the figure is actually closer to $750 after shipping. The product used for the calculation is supposed to last at least 15 years if used "properly". Still a good deal and great method overall in my opinion especially for those who don't have or want a tractor. My apologies folks!!
Josh T-Hansen wrote:A brief look on Amazon can cover 1/4 acre for $300 of reusable fabric