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Sun Apr 1, 2012, 01:38 PM

Cardboard gardening

This is such a good idea, and free, that I had to share it. You can use cardboard in the compost pile, use it instead of tilling to start a garden, and the best idea is that you can forget about buying pricey pots for container gardening and use cardboard boxes instead.

Iím a bargain hunter. A penny-pincher. A cheapskate. Nothing makes me happier than finding thrifty and resourceful ways to save money on the things I need or want.

Iím also a gardener. And, as anyone who has ever tended a patch of tomatoes can attest, itís alarmingly easy to spend a lot of money on a garden. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered a super cheap, super simple way to have a better garden. Cardboard!

A couple of years ago, I heard that cardboard made a good foundation for new garden beds, so that fall I grabbed a few recycled boxes, flattened them in the backyard and waited. In spring, when it came time to plant, the cardboard had broken down and I had a lovely new garden bed of rich soil, ready for planting.

Something thatís free, easy and makes for a better garden? I was hooked.


http://www.birdsandblooms.com/Gardening/General/cardboard-gardening

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cardboard gardening (Original post)
Curmudgeoness Apr 2012 OP
dmosh42 Apr 2012 #1
Melissa G Apr 2012 #2
Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2012 #3
Denninmi Apr 2012 #4
Curmudgeoness Apr 2012 #5

Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 01:54 PM

1. I have done this process for years,of gathering all the cardboard boxes and newspapers in.......

the Fall and Winter, taking them apart,(boxes) and laying them in my garden rows, followed by all the shredded leaves from my property, and others. Then for the growing season, you have mulched areas where the weeds would grow, saving much labor there, and the worms and microbes like having that cool moist darkness, during the Summer period. By the following Fall you have a ground with a nice black compost on top, and ready for the same process to start again. Yes, you're onto a good idea that works every season.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 05:57 PM

2. Thanks for posting!

I have a big yard and access to lots of cardboard. I'll get started this week!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 06:49 PM

3. great tip, thanks!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 06:58 PM

4. Well, I'm a little dubious about using boxes as containers.

Maybe if you can find the old fashioned waxed cartons that certain produce used to be shipped in (maybe they still do???).

But yes, I try NOT to waste any cardboard I get. It can all be flattened out and used under mulch to keep down weeds, and it's amazing how fast it breaks down.

Last year, someone gave me about 12-15 years worth of old Playboy magazines to dispose of under compost. Definitely gives "dirty magazine" a new twist.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 07:49 PM

5. I am not sure how the containers will work either, but

I am going to try it. The article does suggest that this is not for the gardener who wants everything to look perfect, because the boxes will not stay pretty. But it also suggests that if you line the box with a plastic bag, the box will hold up longer. I am going to try this without lining though. All I know is that large containers, even the cheap ones, are not really cheap. I like the idea that the whole thing can be thrown in the compost at the end of the season.

I'll let you know how it works, and I will have a plan to move the plants into a bigger box if they don't hold up for the summer.

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