Planting into leaf mould sheet mulch?


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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Cleansweep 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #42256

    GlynG
    Participant

    We’ve recently taken on our first allotment here in Bristol, which we’re working on communally as a group of 4. We don’t have all that much gardening experience and some of us none at all. I visited Charles’ garden this summer on a Permaculture course and want to do it no dig.

    We’ve started sheet mulching some areas using bicycle box cardboard covered in 3-4” of leaf mulch freely available in bays where it gets dumped (I know Charles more recommends compost but we have large areas to cover and we’re making use of what we have). There were fresh leaves at the front of the huge pile in the bay but I dug into one side and dug out a couple of metres right to the back and got us much as I could from there. This had probably been there a year or two I reckon as it was half soil.

    Would we best leaving it bare till spring or could / should we plant anything in this well rotted lead mulch over the winter? Some kind of hardy ground cover that wouldn’t get instantly eaten by the billions of slugs of the site? Something edible or just a soil improver/nitrogen fixer maybe? I don’t know if any plants would grow ok in a few inches of rotted leaf-mulch over cardboard?

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    #42275

    charles
    Moderator

    You made a good start Glyn.
    I recommend compost because it harbours less slugs. You have a lot anyway… next year will need diligence.
    The best green manure to sow now is mustard Sinapsis alba “white mustard” (Google for supplier) which grows fast in autumn and is obligingly killed by frost, leaving a ‘straw’ residue of stems.

    #42276

    GlynG
    Participant

    Excellent, thanks Charles! We’ll plant that in the area.

    Yeah I’m a bit concerned about the amounts of slugs but just have to make the best of it. Twice already I’ve laid down what I thought were loads of organic slug pellets around the beds only to come back the next day and find them all gone. I think we just have a high density of slugs:

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    #42388

    Cleansweep
    Participant

    I think the “dis-appearance” of your slug pellets may be mouse activity. They contain a high percentage of cereal as the bait.Be on the lookout for small caches of pellets to confirm.Try slug traps with “waste” beer or concoct a sugary solution (or Cola) Pre-emptive action before you plant evens the odds of success!

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