Here are two different techniques you can use to sheet mulch an area to compost in place mimicking a forest floor. Where a forest floor takes many year this can take a year or so. These techniques will be helpful in replacing your lawn with a new ecosystem giving them a healthy start as you're on your way to learning about natives, ecology and your story of PLACE. There's many other ways out there and we have posted some images of various options, but we find these to work and work just fine without over complicating it to get you up and running. We suggest you dig your water harvesting earthworks first before sheet mulching.
Method 1 - The basic
This method is crude, fast, cheap and easy but it works. Good for removing the lawn to plant natives, drought tolerant and more hardy plants. You're going to cover the area that you want to smother with a layer of cardboard. Overlap the cardboard by 6 to 8 inches. After that apply compost 2 to 3 inches thick then mulch* of your choice about 4 to 6 inches think.
Where can I get?
Cardboard - Save your orders from on-line, ask around town of companies that have a lot of boxes.
Compost - You can make your own or get them from a rock and mulch landscape company.
Mulch - Your local arborist will deliver it for free or get it from your local rock and mulch landscape company.
*please don't use colored treated bark from the box stores.
WATER EACH LAYER!
Method 2 - The forest floor mimic
The forest floor mimic is geared for places where you'll be planting citrus or fruit trees, a vegetable garden. After adding each layer remember to water well, soaking the materials before adding the next. You're creating a compost pile in place. Let it "cook" down for some time maybe a few months before planting into the new forest floor mimic.
Let it COOK!
WATER EACH LAYER!
How much mulch do you need?