Sheet Mulching: How to recycle cardboard for fertile soil.
"Recycling" is a lie. Actually recycle by reusing items.
The recycling industry as we know it was made up by corporations to pass the responsibility of environmental stewardship from the corporations that cause mass pollution onto the consumer. This might sound like a spicy lefty take, but really. Here are some videos that explain things in depth.
Sheet mulching is used as a low-cost and low-impact way of getting rid of “weeds” and vegetation for gardening using cardboard boxes. The cardboard will keep the plants under it from getting light, pretty much killing the foliage underneath. This keeps moisture close to the soil, and also acts as a haven for worms, fungi, and other beneficial mycorrhizal bacteria. Just get cardboard on the ground and overlap it so no light shows through. This is important. No light can show through and allow plants below to grow through the cracks. Then use mulch to weigh down the cardboard from flying around in the wind or floating in heavy rain. And that is pretty much it.
This method also makes it easy to turn the mulched area into a garden. Move some of the mulch and replace it with a thick layer of soil. As the cardboard breaks down and the unwanted plants below die, it will allow any plants planted above to move their roots into now fertile soil.
Doing this kills so many birds with one stone (Don’t kill birds they are nice).
Cardboard does not end up in a landfill.
You get amazing, firtle, beautiful soil after the carboard breaks down.
You can turn an inhospitable area into a garden in a day or two.
Here is a before:
Quite the difference! I added like 4 inches of mulch in some spots to level out the uneven ground of this area. Came out to about $100 in cheap mulch. I could have mulched some tree limbs myself but it was hot and I didn’t need another project.
To continue the recycling I will be taking some discarded fences from next door and turning them into big Sub Irrigated Planter (SIP) boxes to capitalize on the southern facing all-day sun.
I just found you and realize this is one of your first posts, but just wanna say that this is pretty inspiring.
I recently bought a used raised bed made of cedar, set it down with some cardboard underneath for awhile to kill the grass and weeds, then filled the bed with a bunch of soil and peat moss and a couple of young tomato plants and spinach seeds. Hopefully it turns into something good.
I may take your advice of placing cardboard down with mulch on top to scope out additional locations for raised beds and flower beds.