Sheet Mulching Project at Sequoia Elementary

Green Schoolyards America is proud to feature Living Schoolyard Month celebrations that were held in May across the state of California. If you celebrated and would like to be featured here, send photos and a brief description to info (at) greenschoolyards (dot) org.  —GSA

This May, StopWaste led a lawn replacement at Sequoia Elementary. They had help from the community and the California Conservation Crew. 

StopWaste recommends these 5 steps for sheet mulching:

1. Prepare the site. Knock down or mow existing vegetation so that it lies flat. Remove only woody or bulky plant material.

2. Plant the larger plants. Before installing the sheet mulch, plant any 5 gallon or larger plants specified in the design.

3. Add a weed barrier. The next layer is an organic weed barrier that breaks down with time. It is essential that the barrier is permeable to water and air. Do not use plastic. Cardboard rolls are best with 8″ of overlap minimum.

4. Layer compost and mulch. This layer mimics newly fallen leaves, needles and other organic matter in forests. Good materials for this layer include chipped plant debris, tree prunings, leaves and straw.

5. Plant the smaller plants. Punch a hole in the cardboard and place plants in the soil under the sheet mulch. Smaller plants can often be planted right into the mulch/compost layer. 

More information can be found at and in the 2015 Living Schoolyard Month Activity Guide.

Contributed by Cassie Bartholomew, Program Manager, StopWaste.
Photos by David Fenton

Oakland, CA