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Sheet mulching vs. mulching

 
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Location: IL/WI Border
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Last year, my first year gardening, before learning of permaculture, I built raised beds. I used cardboard for the intial layer, but after reading through this it sounds like that wasn't a good idea.

This year my plan was to create guilds around a set of 3 trees, making one really large guild using the same method. But now it appears I shouldn't be using the cardboard or newspaper b/c of the potential breakdown of the glues.

Will using the method (click link) above with just omitting the card board be enough to suppress the grass currently growing under/around the trees?
 
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Permaculturebella wrote:
So you need to try to alter the feedback mechanisms that retain the characteristics of the grassland ie the make up of the soil...not grass based materials (such as hay) which are part of the normal grass based cycle, perpetuating the grass based eco system.

We argue that plastic sheet mulch is the quickest, most effective way to achieve rapid establishment.



I frequently use woven black landscape fabric in a similar manner.  I have been moving some of the same sheets around for 5 years.  It does not perforate, but does leak some light.  A similar use is profiled in Edible Forest Gardens.

If up front costs were not so high I would agree, but prefer arborist chips for most applications. (see topic: HYPOTHESIS - optimal approach for zone 2 food forest establishment in PNW.  I have been intrigued by some folk's devotion to subtle polyculture manipulation, or shallow locally harvested mulch. (see no till hay method)

I have long felt that grassland mulch vs. leaf mulch produces very different effects and suppresses different species in different ways that would be good to understand.

I think correctly identifying and understanding the species you are smothering is the critical piece.

I have seen some plants (evergreens in particular) suffer under cardboard mulch in some settings with effects that look like oxygen starvation.  Not uniform, but specific to application, setting, and species.

 
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Susan Munroe talks about uv rays destroying the plastic and just in case anyone wants a simpler term plastics are photo degradable, that is light breaks down plastics, sunlight especially abd so they get thin and crumbley and then would i suppose be difficult to take off the land, it is one thing pulling a sheet of plastic off your land and another taking of lots of bits that fall to peices as you pull at them off the land. agri rose macaskie.
 
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I'm with Paul on this 100%. I've tried it. In my Mediterranean climate it dries out under the cardboard and then it just further prevents the garden from thriving or holding water.

I think natural is the best. Lawton uses greenhouses. Holzer does not. Lawton transplants. Holzer does not. I'm going to favor always what is more natural.

I <3 Lawton. I <3 Holzer. Both are great, but definite gick + lack of effectiveness makes me leery....
 
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