Sunday, 19th May 2019 09:17pm

Wood chip, bare soil and sheet mulch, side-by-side

I’m not happy about the amount of plastic I use in the #ForestGarden. I use a woven plastic sheet mulch to clear the ground, it takes about 6-12 months to work. But it’s plastic. I re-use it but I’m forever picking up plastic threads that have come loose.

Some people have suggested cardboard. This is good for small areas but it’s not really feasible for 500 square metres at a time.

One approach I’m considering is to remove the turf. At first, I thought a turf cutter might do, but it’s £150GBP for a couple of days to hire, plus the Ornamental Forest Garden is more abandoned pasture than lawn. Then I thought about hiring our incredibly capable digger chap plus mini-digger for the day, which would be a similar price.

I was thinking of piling the turf in mounds at the top of each section, then mulching the mounds to create a rich topsoil.

In the meantime, I need to get cracking and create a large area of simple propagation beds and start stockpiling cheap/free wood chip from arborists in preparation.

On the topic of which mulching material to go for, I’d recommend bark if you have to buy it, or stockpile wood chip if you can get a supply from a local arborist.