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AliveJune2016

THE DIRT GARDENER THANKS FOR ASKING BUZZ BERTOLERO DROUGHT TOLERANCE AND SHEET MULCHING I'm looking to remove a portion of my lawn and replace it Q. A. with drought tolerant plants. Is there a way I can do this without removing the grass or using any chemicals to kill it? In addition, I don’t want to wait for the grass to die first. Yes, there is a method of doing exactly what you described. It’s called “Sheet Mulching.” Sheet Mulching is not new, and in fact it’s used by organic gardeners who utilize Permaculture. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature. It’s a natural process that combines soil improvement, weed removal, and mulching in one fell swoop. It is currently being utilized by a whole new group of gardeners looking to replace their grass with plants. You’ll need cardboard and/or lots of newspaper along with an organic mulch. First, scalp the grass by mowing it as low as possible. Next, dig the planting holes, amend the back fill, plant your plants and add starter fertilizer. A thick layer of cardboard and/or a half an inch of newspaper should then used to cover or smother the old lawn area leaving the plants exposed. A second option is to cover the entire area first before planting, and then cut holes in the paper or cardboard layer. Think of the cardboard or paper layer as an organic or biodegradable landscape fabric. To prevent the material from moving or blowing around wet the layer down as you proceed. You should over lap the seams or edges by four to six inches to prevent any new growth or weeds from developing. Be warned: Sheet Mulching will not prevent germination of the weed seeds that blow in on top of the mulch. Wet the paper again with the existing sprinklers before applying the mulch because the mois-


AliveJune2016
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