Sheet mulching

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It was cloudy all day today and it got unusually humid this afternoon without a glimpse of the sun. Our line up today was Jim and Kenny from 8:30 till 2:30, then Alisha, Josh, and Calvin from 4 till 6. All in all, we sheet mulched 1000 square feet 4 inches thick. Most of the area was 800 feet down the trail from the mulch pile at the trailhead at 14th and Holly. Kenny did a final sweep to dig any blackberry grow-back and then laid out pieces of cardboard with a minimum 4 inch overlap. Jim and I hauled mulch in wheelbarrows and the wagon and covered the cardboard with 4 inches of mulch or more. Alyssa, Josh, Calvin and I continued mulching and then removed the suckers growing from 6 hawthorne stumps. The area mulched flanked both sides of the trail just before it starts diving in elevation. We did the initial removal of blackberry and hawthorne from this site during fall and winter of 2007 and 2008. There is partial Alder Canopy and the soil has moderate organic matter. The entire site was previously occupied by blackberry and required walking sideways down the trail to avoid getting scratched.
This shot (taken in January) is from another 100 feet east on the trail headed in the same direction (East). The placement of signs is coincidental, but the ground cover we encountered was identical…100% blackberry. This picture shows the bramble after being cut to allow access to did the root balls. We are soon to sheet mulch around the the trees planted in the area shown in this photo. It was a small work party in attendance, but hauling 12-15 cubic yards of mulch 8oo feet down the trail was a significant accomplishment for a day’s work and far exceeded my expectations.

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