Using cardboard in the garden!

graciesavage(Seven)March 13, 2008

I saw somewhere that someones husband used boxes to cover the ground in his garden to save on watering. And weeds I suppose.

Has anyone done this? How successful would you say it was? Did it cause any problems with veggie growth?


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I read on a blog in the U.K. that someone suggested it but someone else wondered what effect the glue would have and it was determined that it was not detrimental to the soil. Easy to keep from blowing away then newspaper. Shouldn't cause any problem with veggy growth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 10:36PM
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Using cardboard, and newspaper, has been an accepted organic gardening practice for many years now to help extend mulches and help mulches do the job of suppressing "weed" growth better. Other benefits of using cardboard is that soil moisture is retained better than bare soil would, and, because the soil is not exposed to the sun, aids in keeping that soil cooler. A side benefit is that cardboard, as well as newspaper, will add organic matter to the soil.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 7:47AM
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Lets all realize, though, that there are *much* better ways to increase soil moisture, organic matter, nutrient content, support biological life, and keep down weeds, other than cardboard/newspaper...such as thick layers of organic matter other than cardboard/newspaper (which is basically just a brown/high carbon source)

I say this because so many people I meet think doing cardboard/newspaper is some sort of miracle solution...basically they trump it up for more than it's worth

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 10:21AM
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Newspaper and/or cardboard can be used to extend the other mulch material you might not have quite enough of. People that think anything is a "miracle" solution to a problem simply are not using common sense.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 7:34AM
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buffburd(z5 NY)

Newspaper and/or cardboard provides a significantly better growing situation than the status quo (tilling and leaving the soil bare). It provides such a tremendous improvement that many folks get very excited about it and refer to it as a miracle.

Additionally, newspaper/cardboard provides an added benefit over more natural mulches. It can be placed over an area of lawn (to create a new garden) in a much thinner layer to provide complete (100%) weed supression in a lasagna style garden. To achieve this kill rate a much greater thickness of most other mulches would need to be applied.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 4:42PM
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I also found that worms love newspaper!
[I think they preferred NYTimes, very erudite worms in NJ]

When I put down newspaper to get rid of some weeds, I found I had more worms under it, than anywhere else.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 10:19AM
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I've read that worms love cardboard as well. I believe I even read of its use by small commercial worm growers.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 8:48PM
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Thanks everybody. I think I'll give it a try this year.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 9:01PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I've been using cardboard for a long time, and the one big problem I have with it is the packing tape, which is usually plastic but sometimes is paper with fiberglass strands. Normally the following year the cardboard has disintegrated wonderfully but big pieces of tape are left. I usually am so eager to get the cardboard down that I forget to tear off all the tape first.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:19AM
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I've been using it a long time, too. It is an excellent resource because it does a good job killing weeds and retaining moisture, and most especially because it is using something that is already in your hands which to get rid of would require using energy - hauling it to the dump, then to the incinerator, etc. Whereas importing the equivalent mulch (hay, straw, etc.) requires energy to equal the free presence of the cardboard.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 3:53PM
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shellva(Camden 7b/8a)

In my gardens paper products go hand in hand with thick layers of organic matter. TOGETHER they work pretty much like a miracle ;-)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 5:49PM
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hoorayfororganic, if you haven't used newspaper in your garden, you've got no clue what you're missing. It's apparent that you don't use it much or you wouldn't claim that "there are *much* better ways to increase soil moisture...and keep down weeds."

There is almost no better way to keep down weeds than newspaper or cardboard---oh! unless you mean plastic. And I find that newspaper is grand keeping moisture in the soil.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 11:54PM
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Actually earthworms do not "love" cardboard, or newspaper, but they do like that the soil under the cardboard is more moist, and is cooler, and that eventually the paper adds some organic matter to the soil and organic matter is what they feed on. Newspaper and cardboard can be on means of adding some necessary organic matter to soil, however if one does accumulate sufficient quantities of other forms of OM so they need not use either the newspaper or cardboard that can be okay, too, but for those that need the help that these paper products provide it is just fine to use them.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:10AM
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shredded newspaper and cardboard is one of the most common bedding materials used for compost worms. hard to tell what they love.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:52AM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

I love using newspaper between plants as a weed blocker. One of the best tricks I have learned. My neighbors spend thousands of dollars every year hiring people to mulch their beds only to have weeds grow right through it. Last year they told me it cost them $4,000 for the "fall cleanup" and mulch. Every year the same thing happens. If only they would put cardboard or newspaper down first. It works! But if the mulch thins, the paper will show through. You have to keep it covered.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 8:02AM
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I used newspaper in my garden for the first time in 1976 and I've never not used it since.

That first time i used it, I covered a 50 x 50 garden with newspaper and hay and went off to work the next morning. That afternoon returning from work, about a mile from my house, I saw a piece of newspaper flying down the road. Then I saw a shrub with a piece of newspaper wrapped around it. Then a mailbox. I actually didn't put 2 and 2 together until I came to the first house that had newspaper plastered against its siding. Then the next newspaper wrapped house. And the next.

I slinked around my neighborhood for hours picking up all the newspaper (and I do mean all the newspaper) that had been on my garden.

I repeated my efforts the following weekend---only this time and ever after---I weighed my newspaper down with seaweed. (A few well-placed rocks do the same trick.)

After the newspaper settles in, and clings to the soil surface, the weight issue is less of a problem.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 8:37AM
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I run newspapers thru the shredder and use in the litter pans under the rabbit hutches then it goes in the compost or directly in the gardens. I also run the cardboard thru the shredder then mix w. the shredded leaves. I use the paper rabbit & pheasant feed bags unfolded in the rows as mulch. used to punch holes in the newsprint with a sharpened length of conduit then plant onions set, plants in the holes. I use news paper and cardboard in the worm beds, they get between the layers of cardboard, seem to like the paste?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 5:28PM
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The use of newspaper in the garden is probably as old as newspaper! Here's an account from Mr. S. Powers, who wrote to The Cultivator and Country Gentleman in March of 1884:

"The Spring Campaign against Insects:
If the farmer was provident enough to tie up young fruit trees last fall with newspapers, as a protection against rabbits (and it is a sufficient protection if carefully done), he ought, as soon as the danger from this source is passed, to remove the wrappings. If they are left on, they form a convenient refuge for aphides or lice, and soon the bark will be wounded and disfigured."

Written back when "organic farming" was just "farming!"

Here is a link that might be useful: The Heirloom Orchardist

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 6:48PM
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Does anyone recall the study USDA conducted about 25 years ago using shredded cardboard and newspaper as an alternative fertilizer for field corn?

A "papered" prepped field was compared to an adjacent field that was conventionally/chemically fertilized.

Yeilds of the "papered" field were much higher than that commercially fertilized...and at much lower cost.

Abruptly, USDA, said no more studies were to be made!
This is a study many organic folks refer to in explaining the history of the paper advantage.

When I am lacking enough topping mulch, I resort to using stones, old steel posts, 5 gallon buckets of weeds, or even bags of composting weeds to hold down huge sheets of cardboard. Reading newspapers on line has minimized newspaper in this house...but still unpacking-so cardboard reigns.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I recycle cardboard in the pathways of my garden, a large rock here or there to keep it from blowing away. It works great, especially in the rows between the raspberrys where I wouldn't till. I have also used it as the bottom layer of lasanga gardening with good results, smothered the weeds. I like to think I am being frugal(cheap), as it beats paying for weed barrier at the hardware store.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 12:59AM
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Would shredded office paper work? Our office, though we do recycle now, produces tons of it! Is the ink in the newspaper safe around vegetables?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 11:15AM
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vtguitargirl(Z4b VT)

Newspapers use soy ink which is safe in the garden. If Wikipedia is right, 95% of U.S. newspapers use it. (I'm talking about the regular newsprint - not the glossy stuff)

I don't think the ink in office copiers is soy ink because they warn you not breathe it in & to wash if it gets on you skin.

I'm a teacher & am amazed at how much paper is wasted everyday. But since I'm not too sure about the ink, I'm playing it safe in the vegetable garden.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 6:38AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

I've used lots of cardboard as mulch since our company has lots of used material available. I do not use newspaper since I seldom buy a newspaper.

My biggest single cardboard project was mulching a quarter acre of sweet corn with pumpkins interplanted. Layed the cardboard between the rows when the corn got about 8 inches tall, weighed it down with rocks and soon the pumpkins completely covered it. At the end of the season, I rototilled the entire mess of dead vines stalks and half-rotted cardboard under. (Watch for the rocks.)

I'm stockpiling cardboard now and slicing it into strips gives me something productive to do while I wait for the snow to melt.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I am beginning to landscape this year starting with a 10 foot wide area in front of the house, which is wild grass and I also need to raise the level of the soil about 6 inches. So,'s what I'm thinking - a few layers of newspaper over the existing "sod", then maybe a 1-2" layer of compost, add 5" of topsoil over that and then plant? Also, I have used the landscape cloth as a weed barrier in the past. Can I just put that on top of the topsoil and then mulch after planting? As you can tell I'm pretty new at this. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 2:20PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

I use paper and card board all the time in my compost bin and directly in the beds to stop weeds. Old Phone Books are great this way too since you can just rip out the number of pages you need and keep the others together to move to the next area.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 1:07PM
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This is only my second year of serious organic gardening. When I built my frontyard potager last year I used the newspaper sheet mulch process and had great success. It is crucial that you overlap the newspaper so weeds cannot get through. I am now using the same method to change over my paths from grass to playchips. It's a great way to recycle. I've used a massive amount of newspaper so far.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 1:30PM
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I would try a lasagna garden. It's just any old organic material layered and left to compost. It will leave your area with a lot more nutrients than buying topsoil.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 9:16PM
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Which decomposes faster? Newspaper or cardboard? I have heard conflicting answers to this question.

I plan to use cardboard and newspaper to kill the grass/weeds in the garden plots I am starting this year from scratch. it is quite a bit project with close to 160 sq ft of my backyard being converted to garden. I plan to use a cover crop this fall and am very interested in the no till/lasagna gardening philosophy.

I have been collecting newspapers and cardboard for months. Had planned to use the cardboard on the paths and newspapers on the plots themselves in order to kill weeds and grass. I thought the cardboard would decompose slower thus the thought of using it on the paths. When it decomposes, I thought I would turn it onto the beds until one day I will have raised beds and put something else down on my paths such as stepping stones and a ground cover.

Now I am uncertain where I should use which. Any ideas or suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 2:53PM
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Does using cardboard or newspaper attract termites? Once the newspaper is down do you wet the material?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I've started using newspaper, brown paper bags, and cardboard in my gardens - the cardboard has to be my favorite, I think it decomposes better. But here's my problem, as it decomposes it ends up in the neighbor's yard (I live in Nebraska where it's fairly windy). Any ideas on how to make sure it stays down and doesn't end up in my neighbor's yard? It's really not much of a problem until the cardboard starts to decompose.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:23PM
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anubis_pa(z5 PA)

I'vebeen very happy with cardboard as the first layer, yes it probably should be moistened a bit, I have always covered it with some sort of mulch though, and have not had a problem with it blowing away as a result.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 10:35PM
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what about particle board, like the stuff on the back of notebooks. i can get tons of that in 2'x3' sheets.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:19AM
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ctufts(z4 Maine)

HI there everyone. I just newspapered my garden this past week and covered the papered rows with Chicken manure mixed with Shavings from the chicken coop. last time I did newspaper in the garden I used straw to cover it with,,but straw is now $9.00 a bale !!!!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:35PM
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So do any of you have neighbors who think you're crazy. I've used newspaper in new gardens and composting for years. But I lived way out in the country so no one saw but me. Now I've moved into "town". Recently I converted a 10' by 60' (approx) front lawn area into gardens. I actually had people sitting on their porch watching me. Trying to figure out what this wacko was doing with all this newspaper spread over her lawn. They didn't understand why I wasn't removing the sod or tilling the soil. I did get a couple invites to dinner and afternoon bloody mary's. So I guess the newspaper not only helps my garden it helps me get to know my neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 3:25PM
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I am have been using cardboard in my flower and vegetable gardens this year and I love it! I plan on slowly moving convert the entire area to cardboard coverage and move away from tilling between rows. I still have to convert DH to the idea, though. He's not too sure about the cardboard. I made our asparagus and strawberry beds with cardboard, covered with old hay. I made an entire large flowerbed the lasagne way with cardboard, too. Works great! I did find that newpaper has to be very thick to completely supress weeds to the extent that the cardboard does. Here's a pic of our new, cardboard covered strawberry, raspberry and baby asparagus beds.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:53AM
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Newspaper and cardboard are fine for mulch, but a word of caution.

Don't put it down too early in Spring, before the soil has a chance to warm and dry out. It can keep the soil too moise and cause seeds to rot, or not allow the soil to warm enough for good germination.

It's best to put it down after the soil drys and warms, and seed has already germinated.

The Garden Guy

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:06PM
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So Ron, why do the plants in my well mulched in the fall beds grow up and blossom just as early as my neighbors who does not mulch the gardens for the reasons you stress, if the mulch will keep the soil too cold to long in the spring?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 6:54AM
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I would guess that over the Winter, the cardboard would have broken down enough by Spring to allow the soil to dry and warm. I put a 6-8 in layer of organic mulch on my beds in late Fall and by Spring, most of it is broken down and depleated. It would make sense that the same thing is happening with your cardboard mulch.

The caution I made was for anyone applying newspaper or cardboard mulch in early Spring, before the soil warmed or dryed out.

The Garden Guy

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Jan_Hobbs(z6a TN, USA)

I've found that when you have a big pile of newspaper, leave it outside and let it get good and wet in rain or wet it with a hose. It is much easier to put down, and keep it in place until you can get hay or whatever on it. We went through the newspaper blowing around, too, and found that the wet paper stays put pretty good. We usually open a section of paper and lay the whole thing down, and overlap the next section. Works pretty good.

You can go to your local newspaper office and they will let you have any old newspapers that didn't sell . Now is a good time to start stockpiling the newspaper for next spring. Make a trip the the newspaper office about once a week and you will have enough when spring comes.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:10PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Cardboard is a gardener's friend! I use all sorts of paper products in the garden - cardboard (with all plastic tape and plastic labels removed, paper labels ok), newspaper, pizza boxes, paper leaf bags, brown paper shopping bags, even flattened cereal boxes, shredded office paper, and the coffee filters that come with the UCGs! I use them as a paper layer in lasagne beds, to smother weeds, and in garden paths.

My first layer of a lasagne bed is always paper, because I'm trying to kill off either sod, crabgrass, Vinca, or invasive weeds, then top that with layers of organics.

There is no easier organic way to kill weeds and invasive plants than by laying down a layer of paper and topping that with organic matter. For smothering, grass clippings are my material of choice. Several inches of fresh grass clippings will mat together to form an impenetrable layer that keeps the weeds down for months while they die off. (Note that grass clippings by themselves will stink when green, also because of the congealing effect they don't make a great mulch by themselves.)

My garden paths consist of a layer of cardboard with about 2 inches of aged wood chips on top - or even just enough to cover the cardboard. This makes a nice path, very comfortable to walk on, with no weeds for at least a year. For this path, I waited too long - it was overgrown with crabgrass, so I had to mow and trim the edges first. It would have been easier when the crabgrass was smaller.

Laydown cardboard (most of these were pizza boxes) -

Spread an inch or two of wood chips -

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:50AM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

What a great use for pizza boxes! I will save mine from now on.

When I use cardboard, I put it down in the fall and cover it with a thin layer of hardwood mulch for cosmetic reasons (my neighbors call me "the weirdo"). I use it for colonizing turf for gardening or making paths, mostly. If it's spring, then I use newspaper six layers or more thick (my worms like the NY Times too) and overlap, water, then cover that with a thin layer of hardwood mulch. The newspaper is easier to plant through right away.

However, I also have areas where I don't mulch at all and just plant very closely and hoe the edges. This works pretty well with stuff like tomatoes. OTOH, I extended the area for my squash to run in by using cardboard covered with mulch, and the runners had a harder time rooting through the cardboard. I think more water was necessary than what I used. It did mean zero weed competition, though.

This year I am trying a cover crop that I hope I can plant through next spring. Mulching with cardboard is great, but it would be even better if I didn't have to mulch at all and could just pop transplants right into clover.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 7:09AM
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denno(z7 NC)

I lay my carboard and newspapers i between my raised rows, usually during the Fall when there are plenty of leaf mulch available. I get a large donation of oak leaves from my neighbor, so they last right through the following summer. Then at the end of each summer, when all that is broken down to soft compost, I hoe most of it up onto each raised row. Then I start laying the carboard and newspapers again in the Fall to start over again. What was red clay five years ago, is turning pretty dark by the time I start putting in my seeds and plants in the Spring. The payback is during each summer when my veggie plants look very healthy and strong, even with the three year drought we've had in the Carolinas.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 9:01AM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

A question about using cardboard with mulch over top in paths. Is it slippery at all? I've always been concerned about the mulch slipping around on the cardboard with foot traffic. I don't need any additional hazards, I seem to have enough the way it is.. LOL

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:53PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I haven't had a problem with cardboard being slippery, but I found that old carpet sample were slippery on paths.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:57PM
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denno(z7 NC)

When you first put down the cardboard and mulch on top, you might find it a little slippery. But after a couple weeks, when the dampness bonds everything to the ground, there's no problem. I'm in the foothills where the wind howls down the mountain during the winter months, but all my leaves and cardboard stay in place.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:13AM
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terrene(5b MA)

The cardboard/wood chips combination above is not slippery in the least! Even with the minimum amount of wood chips required to cover the cardboard. It is very comfortable to walk on, with a secure footing, and cushiony under your feet.

However, at my previous house, I used to use newspapers in the paths of the veggie garden, topped with straw. The newspaper/straw combo WAS a little slippery, but I solved that by spreading the lightest sprinkle of dirt over the newspapers before spreading the straw. This added some grip or traction to the newspaper. Worked great!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:14AM
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cardboard is piling up in my shed, but i still don't know how safe the glue or newsprint is. the hartford courant is all soy based colored print, but the black ink is part soy and part petroleum product. any purists or chemists out there who could enlighten me??

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 9:40AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I know that it's one of the favored beddings in worm bins. Steve Solomon talks about it in organic gardeners composting. I'm pretty sure the glue is from horses and is eaten by the microbes. I stored moving boxes in the shed for a while and the exterminator told me the glue attracted roaches and they like to eat it.

I could be totally off, It might have been in one of Sir Albert Howards books I read recently.

This says it's made from corn starch. YMMV

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Gardener's Composting

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:25PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

A very cool use for pizza boxes!! I don't have a lot of newspaper, but know others who do. I have plenty of cardboard,and brown paper bags. NOW I know how to use them!
I've been saving them, never thinking to put any in compost pile to feed earthworms, they like my kitchen scraps a lot anyway. Very cool. I was concerned about ink and print on paper and cardboard, afraid it would be harmful and not organic. So I'll give it a try- would love to see this red clay soil turn dark and loose! Reuse and recycle.
Gee, wonder why the USDA called off any more tests? Hmm...
Terrene, love those pics of your garden pathway. Beautiful.
I've got a question about wood chips as mulch, though: it's not those from the local home improvement store, right? Those have chemicals in them, don't they? Do you get your wood chips somewhere else?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:21PM
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I'm new to using cardboard as mulching material, but I already love it. I used it to mulch over lawn growing underneath a plum tree. I laid a layer of bricks surrounding the mulched cardboard area and then put a layer of wheat straw over the cardboard. Now there's a 1-2ft. area around the plum tree that is not only mulched without any weeds, but is growing herbs and the soil structure is already drastically improved. In my opinion, for trying to plant over grass or thick weeds, cardboard is fantastic. I mean, I probably could have just piled up 6+ inches of straw to get rid of the grass, but I think I'd have had a lot more trouble trying to plant herbs from seed with such a thick layer of mulch, and I'd have had to use more straw, which I'd bought.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 5:37PM
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Last summer I covered a very weedy area with cardboard. I was pulling the same large, strong, nasty weeds a few times a year. I am lucky in that my husband owns a siding business, so I have access to large, thick cardboard boxes whenever I want. The cardboard is still there, working it's miracle of keeping the weeds completely away. I am happy.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 1:23PM
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As someone raised in organic gardening who has used cardboard gardening for specific areas and types of gardens, I hoped to add some beneficial information to the cardboard gardening discussion.
Many replies admitted to limited experience w/cardboard gardening & implied that it was a new concept since it was new in their experience.
Masanobu Fukuoka, microbiologist from Japan, questioned modern mono-agricultural methods early in life. His work dates to 1938 & still is groundbreaking today, pun intended! though he is known for no-till gardening.
Search for his name and learn the science behind not only cardboard gardening but many other useful techniques to improve the most important aspect of growing.... soil biology.
Personally, I have found cardboard/newspaper gardening perfect for changing one's weeds into compost. Some who replied to the previous post described some curious layers and methods to their cardboard process. My method came from the Australian Permaculture texts I studied in 1980s.
I lay cardboard on the patch, making certain to overlap the edges so weeds cannot find their way through. Note: all areas must be thoroughly covered. Then I thoroughly soak the cardboard.
To the gal who saw her newspaper flying down the street....did you wet it immediately upon application?
Next, I cover the cardboard, again thoroughly, with a cured manure. I find my manure from local ranchers or farmers who can verify it is old already.
Finally, the icing is straw.... I love tight packed oat straw. My local feed store has bales for $5 each... they weigh 60-80 pounds. I pull the leaves/pages of the bale and gently loosen them over the patch. I cover... you guessed it! thoroughly.
If I see grass or weeds coming up through it in a week or two... I do this all over again! right on top of it... a layer cake.
The beauty of cardboard gardens in my experience is the soil stays so moist and becomes so rich because the cardboard is holding in moisture and the worms love the bottom side of my cardboard.
I find cardboard gardening a fast easy way to quickly change dirt into soil. No pitchforks, no tills, shovels only for throwing manure. And healthy soil has always been my magic ingredient for lush plant growth.
I hope this helps clarify some of the many issues listed in replies.
Additional information: Masanobu Fukuoka is the author of the seminal work, One Straw Revolution. I have included a link for info on the book if you are unfamiliar with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: One Straw Revolution

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 12:44AM
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I saw an ad on Craigslist for some plastic barrels and when I went to buy them the guy also had a stack of still folded up brand new cardboard boxes six feet high that he used in his business. He said he had to be out of the house by tomorrow and I could take as many as I wanted for free so I now have a stack of cardboard three feet high.
Every year I buy a ten cubic yard dump truck load or horse manure/wood shavings compost. When I spread it out this winter I plan to completely cover my garden with the cardboard first, then cover it with the compost to hold it down. I did a small area last year and by the end of the winter the cardboard under the compost was pretty well decayed and falling apart into little pieces. Hopefully I will be able to smother the Bermuda grass that is the bane of my garden and a constant fight to try to get rid of.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:46PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

I grow on our two acres in the southern Nevada desert. I've always believed in organic growing and especially benefits of having good soil. I make all of my own compost using weeds - horse manure - leaves - some household waste - etc. My question surrounds my use of drip lines to water my vegetables. The emitters are one foot apart and the lines are in rows (3) feet apart and emit (1) GPH. This of course directs valuable water directly to the plant and not the surrounding soil, (at least not very far from the emitters. The problem this presents is that no matter what I put down (straw - compost - etc.) it will not have the moisture to decay or be valuable to the soil except for cooling it next to the vegetable plants. Aside from overhead watering I guess I really have not other choice. What are your thoughts?

graciesavage: I'm sorry, I don't mean to steal your thread.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:40AM
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If the ground is wet, the mulch will be getting wet on the bottom. If you want to wet the mulch more, you could swap out some of the drip emitters for spray emitters. If you keep them low to the ground and with a larger droplet size, it would reduce the amount lost to evaporation.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 7:14AM
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when i put down cardboard the next few days i will find thousands of ants under it !!!!
What do you do about this ?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:30PM
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