Here is our list of favorite tools and supplies for building healthy soil using the sheet mulching method.

Basic gardening tools are a must:

  • flat shovel will help with turf removal
  • Garden Fork will help with breaking up the soil just a little

Extras you will need for this project

  • Landscaping flags will help you identify where the irrigation heads are

For breaking up compacted soil, or taking care of a lawn organically, you can use one of these tools, depending on the size of the area:

To actually do the sheet mulching you will need a concentrated form of soil biology such as Worm Castings or Marilyn’s Own Tri-C Soluble Humate. You will also need painters or builders paper if you can’t stockpile enough cardboard or newspaper.


A good hose, fitted with a shut off nozzle is vital, and a hose splitter attachment is useful too – let’s you wash your hands while the hose is still attached.


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Diane Downey and Sheri Menelli specialize in earth-friendly landscaping practices, including vegetable gardening, rainwater capture, soil health, native plants, and efficient irrigation. Diane is a professional landscape designer with over 10 years’ experience, and Sheri is a certified permaculture designer with a six-year-old food forest in her backyard. Combined, they have over two decades of teaching experience. Their classes are taught to the public in the classroom, in the field, and via one-on-one garden coaching sessions.
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