using cardboard to suppress weeds

Cardboard … Has anyone tried this? When I did water, I pulled the straw back first, soaked the soil around the plants, then fitted it back around the stems. Natural and organic vegetable garden weed control methods include no-dig method, planting edible ground covers to suppress weeds, using newspaper, shredded paper, cardboard and organic mulch, boiling water, vinegar, targeted Email: [email protected], Small-Scale Market Garden Connects People with Food. Cardboard To Stop Weeds. I used cardboard alone the previous year but it broke down halfway through the summer and the weeds grew back. Two in-depth manuals exploring how to build your own home using Peter Cowman's 'Sheltermaking' design system - from the inside out. Putting down cardboard with manure on it will possibly just act to fertilise it in the spring as the cardboard rots thru. But they believe it now. We have large raised beds/containers organic garden and large weeds that thrive around the raised beds. You may want to be careful about using cardboard containing glues or other additives. The best part is that this method does not involve chemicals, which could harm your plants and produce or cause health-related issues in your family. Along with this, it is a great way to recycle these materials rather than seeing them end up in your local landfill. If possible, water plants as needed for the first year. How to Mulch with Cardboard. Although inorganic ground covers have been widely used, this practice can be both messy and unsustainable, not to mention the substantial amount of black plastic gardeners have contributed to landfills. Thick enough to truly smother weeds and not blow down the street. Weigh down the cardboard / news paper. Short version of my situation – I’m laying down sheets over very large areas of what used to be flower beds but ended up being dominated by various weeds and bramble (now all dug up). Organic mulches, on the other hand, are wonderful because they not only suppress weeds … Tips for suppressing weeds with cardboard Tip #1 Don’t use coloured cardboard as the dyes will end up in your soil Most coloured cardboard will have toxic dyes that you don’t want in your soil; it’s better to use the most plain cardboard you can find. The next step was the most satisfying - laying the cardboard. ... For this reason many allotments have banned the use of carpets to suppress weeds etc. I’ve been using hay or dry weeds as mulch around them, but the cardboard or newspaper sounds like a better idea. And guess who has oodles and oodles of cardboard sitting in their garage? The plants sat there quite happily, but that's all they did, and I was very puzzled, until it dawned on me just what was happening. Just dampen the cardboard and use a spade to cut right through. Removing weeds that have their roots tangled up in landscape fabric is, quite frankly, a pain in the bum. Do not add mulch if you added seeds. Plus, there is no need to handpick those weeds, you can use some tips to use newspaper under mulch for preventing weeds naturally in your garden All that you need is a lot of newspapers! Landscape fabric looks nice, but so does mulch-covered newspaper. You might be better digging it out then laying the cardboard to suppress the "less evil" weeds. Putting down cardboard with manure on it will possibly just act to fertilise it in the spring as the cardboard rots thru. Research on the potential of tarps to reduce or even replace tillage by controlling weeds and decomposing crop residue. Is using a tarp the best way to suppress weeds? I use cardboard to create trails in the weeds. Trim any grass or weeds close to the ground in the area to be mulched using a string trimmer or lawn mower. The material on this website is copyright 2015. It was around this time that I was first asked, 'When are the donkeys arriving?'. If so, use a double or triple layer or lay the sheet on top of newspaper, cardboard or other light-excluding mulch. I then 'flattened' the whole area, both by using a grass hook, and by simply trampling any weeds flat. Along with this, it Newspaper is a cheap alternative to toxic herbicides. Using companion plants with big sun leaves like squash help deprive light to the soil during the growing season. It is completely biodegradable and lasts for a season or two. My garden is bordered by fields and I now have The best bit is that people will come and talk to you about it, and perhaps some of them will try it for themselves.John Walker is a freelance writer with an interest in permaculture and other environmentally-friendly gardening matters, and would like to hear from fellow no-diggers on their experiences. Although it seems newspaper and corrugated cardboard are relatively clean and leave few problems once broken down, it’s safer to avoid using glossy, highly coloured cardboard or paper (such as magazines) as these have polluting ingredients. If using newspaper, apply at least 10 sheet thickness. I use cardboard in my beds then cover with leaves or mulch. A free, biodegradable alternative to landscape fabric is to use simple old cardboard. To my fellow allotment holders, the layer of fresh straw meant one of two things; either I was about to set up a donkey sanctuary (complete with free rides for the kids), or I had gone into commercial mushroom production. Being in Florida, it breaks down fairly quickly and is not slippery after the cardboard absorbs water. Here is the kicker. The straw can be put back just as soon as the young plants have some decent-sized foliage. Late last summer, I published a post about my weeding prowess and proudly posted the results of my work: Not a weed to be found in site. If we make flower beds, the mulch will need to go so we can bring in some good soil as we are on thin sandy layer over rocks here in the mountains. To suppress weeds – New allotment needs clearing? Laying Down Cardboard as a Weed Barrier When using cardboard to kill weeds and grass in a new planting area, start a few months or an entire season ahead of the time you intend to plant. Using cardboard (I find plenty in those big skips behind electrical superstores), some kind of organic material, and a mulch like straw, you really can convert a bare, unproductive plot into a vibrant, healthy no-dig food garden in one growing season. Sheet mulching suppresses weeds and improves the soil. If a weed barrier is needed, newspapers or cardboard work great. The solution? A year after starting all you need to do is draw back the straw layer (which itself is breaking down nicely), level the soil and sow as usual. Easy to poke a hole and plant something through the cardboard. I use empty dog, cat, chicken bags like that, that are Cultural or organic control measures rely on killing or restricting the weeds by physical action, from manual removal to smothering, burning and using weed barriers. So you see, using newspapers (or even cardboard) to suppress or kill the weeds in a garden is a much more natural and eco-friendly method to use by far. Photo: ‘Cardboard base for raised bed’ CC BY 2.0 JoePhoto. Weeds / tagged cardboard / June 5, 2013 / by jmarkowski. Carbon Ranching: Turning Problems into Solutions, Electricity monitoring devices, Helle knives, Honey Stoves and potting scoops, How to Build an Overhanging Runner Bean Frame, How to Build a Brassica Cage to Protect Against Pests. I have black tarp to lay down on my garden to suppress weeds. No digging. I spread the mushroom compost out in a layer 4in (10cm) deep over the top of the cardboard, then soaked it thoroughly. If you planted consider adding mulch around the plants to suppress weeds and hold in soil moisture. It's here that so much enthusiasm is so easily quashed by the sight of overgrown plots, brambles and a waving sea of weeds. It is completely biodegradable and lasts for a season or two. Simply lay a barrier of cardboard or thick newspapers and cover with compost and rich soil. Mulching with a layer of cardboard or paper under grass clippings is a labour saving way to suppress weeds whilst naturally improving soil quality. The weeds will die off and become easy to pull out, and you’ll have a rich, well-structured soil to grow in. The straw layer (which covered the entire area), was acting as an 'insulating' layer, preventing the suns rays from hitting the dark soil, so stopping it from warming up. I want to utilize the area but the weeds made it impossible to keep up. Weeds can be controlled without resorting to weedkillers. The best defense against weeds is to use other plants. Works great - suppresses the weeds very well (any that do pop up have germinated in the mulch and are easy to pull up. Just put the cardboard down over the spots of your garden where the weeds are known to live, cover it over with a thick layer of mulch, and leave it alone. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh. Has anyone tried this? Later in the season, and after some experimentation, I found that the best results were achieved by taking out a 'slit' in the mushroom compost, filling the base with fine, crumbly soil, sowing the seed, then covering with more fine soil. I recalled reading up a bit on the use of cardboard as a weed suppressant. I’ve tried using cardboard and it will keep weeds down but working it in and around plants is a pain in the tush. See here for some tips on how to get rid of aphids. Lay cardboard directly on the ground in a single layer. I mulch under fruit trees and bushes and in the decorative shrub border. Cardboard is successful as a base for at least four inches of mulch, however. If possible, water plants as needed for the first year. I thought about putting down a layer of cardboard, cutting out a 4-inch diameter circle in the center of each square-foot, and planting inside that area. A cardboard mulch is an inexpensive way to kill out the weeds in a large area. Planting ready-grown transplants straight through the straw/mushroom compost/cardboard layer posed few problems, and this is definitely the technique to go for when you start from scratch. A year later there's hardly a trace of cardboard left, just a crumbly surface enriched with the mushroom compost that's gradually being incorporated by the worms. Using cardboard to stop weeds does it work as this summer I tried and card caught fire ! Raised beds mulched with cardboard, paper and grass clippings for the winter Mulching is a great way to prevent weeds growing whilst improving the soil. If making a vegetable garden, you may just need to use some rocks or bricks to kill the grass. It’s critical to overlap the pieces of cardboard by at least six inches to prevent the more tenacious weeds from weaseling through the gaps to the surface, where they will quickly become re-established in the rich soil you’ve made for them. Cardboard to Suppress Weeds If you are looking for any effective organic solution to stop weeds in the garden your search ends here– Using cardboard is one of the best ways to stop weeds . The fabric will degrade and break up over time, allowing weeds through. The cardboard will keep the weeds from growing up through the dirt and insulate the ground to a temperature that kills the weed seeds. Whether used as a sheet mulch to deter weeds, or using it around a plants stem to deter pests, cardboard can save a garden. 5 Great Ways to Use Cardboard in the Garden: Cardboard is a cheap and, in the era of online shopping, bountiful resource. This season I drew the straw back off the beds in early spring to let the sun do its job, then got it back on again as plants developed, but before any serious drying from the surface started to take place. This approach can also be used in an area to plant. It is completely biodegradable and lasts for a season or two. My makeshift solution was make a slit through the cardboard, down into the soil below, and then mix the soil with the mushroom compost, sowing the seeds onto this. This also moistened the cardboard, which started going mouldy after just a few days. “I am not lost, for I know where I am. Just put the cardboard down over the spots of your garden where the weeds are known to live, cover it over with a thick layer of mulch, and leave it alone. Weeds: non-chemical control. Once I'd chosen my plot (neglected but not too overgrown - I avoided any with 8ft high brambles), the great cover-up began. It was time to surf the interwebs a bit before making a final decision on my next steps. These are products that I've used or recommend based from homesteading experience. Then the gophers mix in and the space becomes treacherous to walk. Takeaway. Photo: ‘Cardboard base for raised bed’ CC BY 2.0 JoePhoto Using cardboard, newspaper or a combination of both has become a popular way to mulch gardens and prevent the growth of weeds at the same time. The straw mulch of course played a great part; by reducing surface evaporation moisture loss was greatly reduced, and it also prevented the soil from getting overheated (the straw's insulating properties now having a positive effect), keeping the roots cooler. Cardboard and newspaper will eventually decompose so over time we will need to repeat. Skeptics were plentiful when L.A. Arboretum expert Leigh Adams first used waste cardboard to rebuild lousy soil. It works well as it also heats up the soil, increasing the rate of growth and breakdown of weeds and it keeps the moisture in all the way to … The other key factor is to use large sheets, as there's less chance of weeds popping through, and you cover a larger area more quickly. Let’s break it down. Instead of pulling weeds up or using herbicides, cardboard simply smothers them and prevents them from receiving sunlight. It seemed to make perfect sense, natural vegetation systems don't dig then plant themselves, so why shouldn't our gardens and allotments mimick the successes of Nature? Is using a tarp the best way to suppress weeds? Through the season the straw layer developed its own community, and was the stage for many unseen battles; spiders loved it, slugs loved it, beetles adored it (mostly the beneficial kinds) and birds loved to peck about in it! Cover it with mulch. So you see, using newspapers (or even cardboard) to suppress or kill the weeds in a garden is a much more natural and eco-friendly method to use by far. I had a raised bed built last summer and couldn't afford to plant anything. It also is a great tool for a gardener. Couch grass also rose to the challenge, but a double-thickness of cardboard, from experience, should see it off. 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