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How to Suppress Weeds with Cardboard

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How to suppress weeds in your garden with cardboard

It happens to all of us, especially if we get busy.

Weeds can take over after just a few days of not weeding. I’ve discussed the many ways of getting rid of weeds naturally before, but today I wanted to show you how to suppress weeds in your garden with cardboard.

Tips for suppressing weeds with cardboard

How to suppress 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. We’ve often used ones with writing on them simply because it’s hard to find plain ones, but steer clear of the fully coloured ones.

Tip #2 The cardboard will get slippery and mushy over time so it’s a short-term solution

Even though cardboard can hide the weeds instantly and block out the light to your weeds, it will decompose within a couple of months (you’ll see an accumulation of worms underneath as they love it!). Cardboard is great to use if you’re building a lasagna garden bed (you can see the process of one of ours below) but you’ll still need some mulch over top of it eventually. Be wary after many rainfalls it can be a little slippery too!

Building a permaculture lasagna garden bed

Tip #3 Take off the tape from the cardboard

Can I be honest though here? I leave it on until it’s been raining enough times and then rip it off… I’ve found it’s easier to come off that way. You do end up with bits of tape underneath, but I’ve found it easy to remove later in the season. Much easier than taking it off from dry cardboard. But really, yes you want to remove all the tape first, it’s something else you don’t want in your soil.

Tip #4 Use rocks or mulch over your cardboard so it doesn’t blow away

One gusty wind and your cardboard will blow away, especially if you’re using smaller pieces. We overlap them and add heavy rocks on them before we add the mulch.

Conclusion

Cardboard can be a great quick fix for weed control in your garden and is perfect for lasagna gardening or putting at the base of new raised beds. It won’t give you permanent weed control however so you’ll need to come up with something for the long-term like adding mulch on top of the cardboard.

How to suppress weeds in your garden with cardboard

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Disclaimer

Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Comments

  1. Your posts are so helpful and your ideas are usually something that most of us can afford….like this cardboard/lasagna. I really enjoy this blog 🙂 Thank you.

  2. I use cardboard all the time. I stalk all the recycling bins around the businesses in town to collect enough for my garden! My husband thinks I’m cardboard-crazy but he has no idea how crazy I’d be if I didn’t have it for paths, weeds, etc., in the garden.

  3. I also use cardboard in the garden. Mainly on areas between beds where I want to keep down running grasses and have somewhere fairly dry to walk on. I put mulch on top and then when it is all rotted down I can pull out weeds more easily and plant things there that I want. I also use the cardboard in the compost, just tear it up a bit and it rots down. Wish I’d had your tips before, as I’ve found that sticky tape is very annoying later. Also cardboard that is covered with moisture proofing needs to have the plastiscised paper ripped off and that’s a job!!

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Many of the links to products on this site are affiliate links. These are products that I've used or recommend based from homesteading experience. I do make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from these sales.Family Food Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
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