HomeCompostingWhat is sheet composting?

What is sheet composting?

Sheet composting is a method of composting that uses the ground you wish to enrich as the holding area for the green plant material that you wish to compost. The green plant material is considered green manure when it is used for this purpose.
Fava beans are a great edible vegetable that can be used as green manure to perform sheet composting. After you have picked the beans off from the fava bean plants, they will grow new, fat and juicy sprouts. After the fava bean plant has developed the new bean sprouts, you will want to cut down the bean plants and turn the plant material into the ground to be used as the green manure. After the fava bean plants are cut and turned into the ground, you need to spread hay or straw across the ground on top of where you have just turned the green manure plant material into the ground.

By covering the ground where you turned the fava bean plants into it with hay or straw you have just began the process of sheet composting. The sheet composting process takes about 6 months to be completed successfully and for the ground to reap the full benefits of the green manure from the sheet composting. After the sheet composting process has completed you will a have newly re-vitalized growing area to plant your crops for the new growing season.

The sheet composting method of composing is a passive type of composting. Passive composting is composting with little to no physical labor over some time.
Another method of sheet composting is to trim plant life from an established border only to be left where they lay. The thoughts behind this are, why move the materials you wish to compost to another area only to move them back to where they came from in the beginning.

New and fertile gardening sites can be created through sheet composting. If you have an area that you have groundcover plants like ivy and vica you can cut these down or uproot them. The wished area may also be an area that you had let go to the weeds or covered with brush and miscellaneous debris. After cutting them down or uprooting them you can leave them lay as they fell or you can turn them into the ground and cover the area with straw or hay, either choice will create a sheet composting area. Over time of repeating the sheet composting process to this area you will have produced a very rich and fertile growing region.