Re: One word for the graduate: cardboard
"don’t get me started on plastic."
Actually….. plastic definitely has its place too. But not for mulching as such. We call this technique Solarisation. We solarise to kill off large areas of an incredibly aggressive grass that was planted here by the previous dairy farmer owner of our land. I now believe that Kikuyu holds the Earth together!
Kikuyu will ‘crawl’ its way out of sheet mulching, even refrigerator sized boxes! But black plastic out in the hot sun will kill it. One of the very best uses of fossil fuels I can think of. As we face the highly possible scenario of no more access to fuel within five years in Australia, we are now planning to kill all the grass on our 1.6 acres with black plastic. You have to lay it down twice, first to kill the original grass (takes about 6 weeks), then take it up again to allow the seeds dropped under the plastic to germinate and grow, and lay it down again to kill the second wave. Then we’re planning to plant with legumes and species like Pinto’s Peanut as ground cover that never need mowing.
I should also say we are about to start planting barriers between us and the neighbouring blocks… but hopefully, once they start realising that we are right about the future, they might join us and turn their land into a buffer against invasion for us as well…
It’s going to be a lot of work, but the end result of never having to mow again is worth the effort.