I knew I would be doing all of the sheet mulching alone this weekend. I also knew the weather forecast was rain all weekend. To say I haven’t really been looking forward to this weekend would be an understatement. However, I had two gigantic heaps of wood chips on our front yard and someone had to move it.

Saturday morning got rolling and I made a couple trips to the local appliance warehouse for cardboard. I decided to stop trying to explain big concepts like “sheet mulching” and “permaculture” when the local warehouse guys asked me what I was doing with all the cardboard. Instead I jokingly said I was building a cardboard house, we all laughed, and left it at that.

Cardboard unloaded and chicken fiasco over, I spent the better part of the day cutting the cardboard into huge sheets and arranging it all into place. The whole backyard was covered, the cardboard watered, so it was time for the heavy lifting.

One of the more amusing elements of the day was hearing the motors of my neighbors’ cars hum outside my house. The front gate was open so I could haul loads back and forth. They thought they were being pretty sneaky peering down my side yard in their cars, wondering what the hell I was doing, but they weren’t as covert as they thought.

Sunday, this morning, I got down to business pretty quickly. The cardboard had taken half the day Saturday, so I was ready to cruise today. I made two fabulous discoveries that saved me heaps of time.

  • Discovery #1: The wheel barrow had a flat tire. I pumped it up and it was a million times easier to haul around. I kicked myself for not realizing that Saturday, after realizing how much time I must have wasted.
  • Discovery #2: The pitch fork. I have only used this tool for turning my compost, but I realized I could throw 3x as much than I could using a shovel.

I was a mad woman out there today. Wood chips were flying. It was insane how much I was able to move. It also never rained a drop while I was working – nothing but sunshine. One whole load is gone and about half of the other, which I am starting to think it was a double load. The backyard and a few remaining pieces of the front yard are all covered. I even dumped mulch over the areas we had already planted last Spring, so everything has a nice uniform look. It looks a lot like a forest floor.
The leaves from the city have yet to arrive, hence the part three of our sheet mulching story. If and when those arrive, we will spread those out next weekend and then top off with the remaining wood chips. And all shall be well with the world.

My body is aching, but I think I am in the best shape of my life. Time to celebrate!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson