Mulching 101

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On a wet September weekend, we arrived in Nelson, B.C. at Aurora Gardens, an organic market garden. It was home of Bren and Bear, a couple of gardeners we found on They were practicing what seemed to be an organised version of permaculture, and an interesting system of mulching.

Firstly, they would double dig a section of ground and place about a foot of clear plastic around this space. After weeding, they’d cover both the turned soil and plastic cover in straw. The plastic would get an extra layer of straw and the soil inside it would be planted intensively.

It would be weeded heavily over the first couple of years and the straw on the plastic would now be decomposed and make excellent mulch on the soil section. Years went by where the decomposed straw on the plastic would be turned onto the soil and more straw was introduced on the plastic. This boundary restricted the entry of new weeds and after a while weeding became practically unnecessary. Not just that but the soil was being mulched with highly fertile rotted straw.

This mulching business seems to be a real fine art, with each gardener suggesting completely different methods. Hopefully, we’ll try to document as many as we come across so that you can make an informed decision.

Happy Gardening!


About martin4olga

We're planning to travel as much of the world as possible and as inexpensively and environmentally as possible, with a view to having strong cultural experiences, building connections with native people through conversation and activity, and gaining a greater understanding of the interconnectivity of humanity.
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