Return to the Permaculture Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Is it dirt yet?

Posted by maureensnc z7 NC (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 18, 06 at 22:50

I sheet-mulched in November. Today when I fork off most of the straw, I still see identifiable stuff such as pine straw, hickory hulls, sticks, manure. But I also see LOTS of black worm castings, and each forkful disturbs at least two or three of the most gorgeous earthworms, some 5-8 inches long.
How do I know when it's dirt? Can I plant in this space now? Or should I pull the sheets back up and let it sleep awhile longer?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is it dirt yet?

  • Posted by beki z7 CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 19, 06 at 14:49

I call it dirt when it holds moisture and is crumbly. I think you could plant now, just pull the top layers away from your seeds and/or transplants, and set them in where their roots will be moist and tended by worms. Leave the layers in place for mulch, don't fork them off. Keep your worms cool and happy.

RE: Is it dirt yet?

ok, thanks, Beki. The straw, etc. that was on top has been moved to a new sheet-mulch project, but today I'm sweeping up the barn floor of the local seed/feed to get lots more straw, including alfalfa, which I'm told is the complete diet the soil needs.
Thanks for your response! I'll be sure to keep my gorgeous worms happy to live here with me.
Hey, here's a stupid question: will worms swallow small seeds? Do I have to put in only established seedlings?

RE: Is it dirt yet?

I pile up material lasagna style and plant right away! A pocket of soil that covers the rootball, or enough to start a seed (few inches) is all that's needed.

Pull back the mulch in spots and plant right through it!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Permaculture Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here