Mulch Decomposition Rule of Thumb

I made a chart and in the process learned that as a rule of thumb mulch C:N more or less follows an exponential time decomposition rate for carbon. Your decomposition time will vary depending on location temperature, latitude etc.


I based it on carbon decomposition rate data I could find, and Australian Native Forests and Plantations.

My conclusion is;

  1. build soil with with grass/legumes/compost/green leaves in the first year.
  2. add leaf litter in the second year.
  3. add twig & bark in the third year.
  4. add branch in the fourth year.
  5. add sapwood in the fifth.
  6. add heartwood in the sixth.

Basically; grow to chop and drop and by year 7 your soil will be awesome.

Soil networks become more connected and take up more carbon as nature restoration progresses



Soil organisms have an important role in aboveground community dynamics and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most studies have considered soil biota as a black box or focussed on specific groups, whereas little is known about entire soil networks. Here we show that during the course of nature restoration on abandoned arable land a compositional shift in soil biota, preceded by tightening of the belowground networks, corresponds with enhanced efficiency of carbon uptake. In mid- and long-term abandoned field soil, carbon uptake by fungi increases without an increase in fungal biomass or shift in bacterial-to-fungal ratio. The implication of our findings is that during nature restoration the efficiency of nutrient cycling and carbon uptake can increase by a shift in fungal composition and/or fungal activity. Therefore, we propose that relationships between soil food web structure and carbon cycling in soils need to be reconsidered.

Soil networks become more connected and take up more carbon as nature restoration progresses : Nature Communications