The extensive survey of all the greenery in Japan taught Dr Miyawaki more about original vegetation, existing vegetation (that is caused by human intervention) and potential natural vegetation. He also understood that while original vegetation may be virtually impossible to replicate, potential natural vegetation could be managed. And after years of trial-and-error, he arrived at the most basic technique of what would later gain renown as the Miyawaki Method:
For a natural plant community (society), the best situation is where the plants compete with each other and have to put up with each other. Our method of planting trees followed the law of the forest, and seedlings whose roots had filled the pot were planted densely, different species mixed together. In a natural forest, between 30 and 50 seedlings sprout per square meter. There are some places in Borneo where there are between 500 and nearly 1,000 seedlings per square meter. We densely planted different species together in the proportion of about three seedlings per square meter.
Dense planting would be followed by regular irrigation and mulching for the initial couple of years, without which the forest will not survive.
In a natural forest, seedlings emerge from a covering of fallen leaves, and when creating the forest we spread a thick layer of rice straw on the ground. Three or four kilos of straw per square meter is about right, and we spread it as gently as if we were putting a blanket over a sleeping baby. The straw gradually forms a mulch, which is extremely important; even if there is no rain the seedlings do not have to be watered for 40 days or so, and even if there is a sudden, 150-millimeter deluge one night the soil will not be washed away. The mulch also serves to protect against cold, and makes it difficult for weeds to grow. As the straw rots, it fertilizes the soil.