handfuls of topsoil from elsewhere in the garden, and plant into this. It is not necessary to
get the roots down into the soil below the sheet mulch. They will find their own way there.
Water the individual plants well, but do not water the mulch between the plants. As
mulch is so efficient at conserving moisture, this is the only watering you will ever need to
do, except in a very dry year.
Crops with many small seeds, like carrots, are not suitable. But remember, this system
is specifically for opening up new ground. You can grow carrots on this patch next year, or
specially dig a piece of ground for them if you cannot wait until then.
Finally, cover the bed with a layer about 20cm thick of straw or something similar. A mix
of grass clippings and fallen tree leaves works well, and most local councils have plenty of
both to get rid of. Hay is risky, because it may be full of seeds which will germinate and
give you a big weed problem.
If you have planted potatoes you cover the whole area, but seedlings need to be left
poking through. If the weather is wet, leave this layer off until the plants have grown big
enough to be able to survive the attentions of slugs.
Collecting the mulch can take a little time, but it is as nothing compared to the task of
digging up all those weeds and picking the pieces of root out of the soil one by one. As
well as saving labour and cutting down on water use, sheet mulching is an excellent way of
converting some of the detritus of the throw-away society into soil fertility.