Friday, May 16, 2008

Green on the Cheap: Boxing out weeds

I learned a little something from my friends at Casaubon's Book this week: Your cardboard boxes are good for something.

If you're like me and wondering what to do with your used, unwanted cardboard boxes, they can find a second life as mulch for your garden.

Writes catskillmamala:

I pick up appliance boxes from the appliance store. I only use brown cardboard with minimum or no ink. I peel off the tape, open the box up flat and lay in in my paths or on new beds that I want to keep growth-free. I find if I use smaller pieces and there is any crack between pieces of cardboard, weeds will find a way.
Paper degrading can lead to slightly acid conditions so you may want to use a bit of lime.

Violet Lane writes that she uses cardboard to start new beds over the winter. It's not pretty, but it's practical. See pictures here. While I probably can't get away with it given my homeowner's association rules, maybe shredded or covered with wood chips could work. Thoughts?


CorieCommunications said...

I had no idea you were so into gardening and growing your own veggies and plants! I learn something new every day. I'm enjoying your blog - even if I don't get here as often as I'd like! I just discovered Google Reader, so I'm getting better!

Going Green Mama said...

I never said I was any good at it. I do enjoy the few times I succeed at it--mostly beans, tomatoes and onions seem to be manageable and not easily killed off. Some day, maybe I'll have the time and resources to really devote to it!

amiekay said...

I use cardboard at the bottom of my raised beds--I just don't like that weed barrier, and the cardboard is free, and I also use it in the paths between the beds with mulch over it. I try to use pine straw if I can find it free since it takes so long to break down, but any mulch will do.