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Sheet Composting The Smart Way
To Better Gardening

Photo of straw is excellent for sheet composting You can even use sheet composting in
a single row in your garden.

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What Is Sheet Compost

This system is one of the simplest and most effective soil-amendment practices available. It is a good method for those who lack the space, time or desire to maintain a conventional compost pile but still want the benefits of compost in the garden.

The basic method is to spread organic matter in layers over the garden area to be composted, similar to traditional composting, and allowing it to compost where it sits. The area can be large or small even just a single row. Potatoes are fond of organic rich soil and like ground prepared in this fashion so it is an excellent way of fertilizing potatoes


  • Building up organic soil content quickly
  • Less work than composting in a heap
  • Can do very large areas with minimum effort
  • No maintenance
  • Create new gardens without breaking a sweat

Rules Of Composting

Even though this system is simple and relaxed, the 4 basic rules of composting should still be followed.

  • Balance Brown and Green Materials
  • Moisture
  • Temperature
  • Aeration in the beginning

This method often utilizes both hot and cold composting systems so some of the rules of composting can be broken here, but with a few precautions the result is an excellent end product. If the area to be composted is built all at once it will heat like a tradition hot composting method untill all the oxygen has been used and will then finish up as a cold composting system.

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While it is not necessary and certainly not essential it will help to speed up the process by covering the whole area with black plastic. This will keep the decomposition process going longer into the colder winter months and regulate the moisture better.


Depending on the materials used and climate, your composting efforts will be well decomposed within 6-9 months from the time you have added the final layer. When the compost is finished dig it directly into the garden area it was composted and plant your crop in the rich organic soil.

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