For Christmas I got the book Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and gleaned a lot of good ideas for use on our garden. I decided that this year I would take half of our 8 x 28 plot in the community garden and use some of the principles in his book. The other half of the plot will be gardened as usual. I started with sheet mulching the space in early February. I slashed down the weeds in place and covered with a layer of manure and bedding from our rabbits. Next came a covering of newspaper and cardboard topped with finished compost and topsoil. I emptied a few bags of leaves as the final layer. The whole things was pretty tall and even after a thorough dousing with water the wind stripped most of the leaves away.
Ideally I would have done the sheet mulching in the fall so it would have a few months to decompose in place and really enrich the soil, but my gardening is always about making compromises. So, after it sat a month, the weather here in Georgia declared an EARLY spring and I decided to proceed with planting seeds. I decided to follow the outline for a polyculture planting found in Hemenway’s book. Simply put, polyculture is plant