Can you provide an updated link? In a real world, soil is full not just of microbes, but roots and animals tlat all require oxygen. Termites like wood chips just fine, its not just a cardboard thing. But you’re not going to find any plant or soil scientists who will take this seriously before then. Use Cardboard as a Weed Barrier. Other names include cardboard plant, cardboard sago, Jamaican sago, and Mexican cycad (from Mexican Spanish Cícada Mexicana). Gardens always look amazing that have been planted into a lasagne bed–happy plants=good soil. Linda, I use a couple inches of bark on top of the cardboard and am pleased with the look at feel. While the soil may be moist, you don’t have any idea what the oxygen levels were during this time and whether your soil life was affected negatively. A long strip of cardboard, 4 inches wide, can be rolled up into a tubular shape. With the rise of online shopping, it seems there’s always a constant stream of cardboard coming through the home. In fact, your recent publication on this subject seems to state that the levels of CO2 and O2 did not depend on the mulch, cardboard or otherwise. $3 each or 4 for $10 Tomato varieties: Roma Tigerella Sweetie Wapsipinconsin Peach and others Flower varieties: Sunflower Cosmos Assorted beneficial insect … How do we know what level of gas permeability is adequate for maintaining a healthy soil life? Bark does not. It’s like you were trying to prove a point, and not really letting the science guide you. Or better yet, set up your own experiment, one garden bed vermicompost/no cardboard, one without, one with both, etc. Thumbs up, thank you for expressing this! We will be publishing our research within the next year so everyone can see these data. Water breaks down these components to paper quickly. Your chart on CO2 gas diffusion In my opinion is an argument for mulching. Cardboard restricts water and gas movement just like other sheet mulches. So please address the nature of your opening statements about the nature of the material in this discussion. That applies to scientists as well as lay people. It’s not the type of project that funding agencies would care much about so it’s not too surprising that no one has done it yet. Whether used as a sheet mulch to deter weeds, or using it around a plants stem to deter pests, cardboard can save a garden. Instead, today I’m doing to focus on cardboard itself. I love to keep an eye on how the cardboard is doing, and it disintegrates pretty quickly so can’t be so airtight, and I find moving, living earthworms and other shredders. I’m sorry but I have seen soil and growing systems greatly improve following sheet mulching. This is true of any practice in any field that appears to contradict the current state of the science. I’ve been planting in chips 4 inches deep for quite a few years. A garden or landscape mulched with cardboard (or heaven forbid several layers of cardboard as part of the science-free lasagna mulch method) is now covered with a tough, relatively gas- and water-impermeable material that will take some time to break down. Dec 29, 2012 - This Pin was discovered by oralia oropeza. Also, you will have to change the boxes after every one year. It does not absorb water and will not contribute to soil building. We trying to keep thoughtful, civilized discussion going on every topic. None. Although not a palm tree, its growth habit is superficially similar to a palm; therefore it is commonly known as cardboard palm or cardboard cycad. At what level of detail and investment does one deem the research rigorous then, particularly given the myriad different conditions extant in the field? Regardless, I am looking forward toward your publication on the topic. Your soil system will recover from the tarp. The answer seems to be we don’t know about cardboard one way or another. The reason the levels of CO2 were not very different among treatments (except under plastic) was because these are very simple mesocosms with only microbial life. But others do not. Don’t worry about termites – they do not each chips. Mailing garden plants across the country is fairly easy to do, but the best way is to choose the fastest method for your plant to travel. You have no evidence to base this kind of statement on, and if it were true that would mean that NOTHING grew in Alberta until smart people came along and sheet mulched the province. You get plenty of weeds with just wood mulch. Cardboard Palm (cycad zamia furfuracea) – Super heavy duty leaves – Not actually a palm at all, but rather a cycad, a species which can be traced back millions of years. They are all adhered by corn startch, not glues. The most common cardboard plant material is cardboard. Choose varieties of plants that flower late, in areas where late spring frosts may occur. Shred or tear it up into 1-inch squares to help speed decomposition along. Biodegradable Peat Pots for seedlings, 100 Pack Plant Seed Starter Pots Kit, 2.36inch Succulent Planter Nursery Pots with Free Plant Markers, Garden Germination Kits. Our peer-reviewed paper is currently in press. Hi I am late to the discussion. There are 2288 cardboard plant for sale on Etsy, and they cost $22.90 on average. Build the garden, and the worms will come! Thanks for the reply. I assumed they crawled out of the ground and under the wet cardboard. Sow seeds (this fall) Also – you’ve saved us a lot money – burlap isn’t cheap, and neither is hiring a landscaper with a bobcat. Hi Linda! Bark mulch is left over from the lumber industry and has little to no wood. It consists of two layers of linerboard sandwiching a layer of accordion-like fluting material. Of course you don’t want to overdo it, but it sounds like the cardboard decomposes long before the soil can become anaerobic. I place 2″ of woodchips down, then the cardboard, then a 2″ layer of woodchips so I can’t see the cardboard. I am having a problem with weeds in several long and narrow sections at my home. My big problem is bermuda grass. Furthermore, rototilling destroys soil structure. For any soil. I’m probably sitting at 6” right now. Ecosystem restoration remains our best hope for reversing the damage we’ve done to this planet (much of it sanctioned and supported by published science) and we need to do it fast. Thank you. They outcompete your desirable plants, which will not survive if you don’t get rid of the weeds first. Certainly useful and helpful and at this point naturalized and deserving of habitat . I was excited to see a study showing weeds stopped with 12″ of mulch. I have very much enjoyed this post and the subsequent conversations. I haven’t been able to source additional chips to top up what I have. (Try moving a corrugated box after it rains) It’s there now. There are a number of misconceptions in this plan and I hope I can dissuade you of them. This plant is under-utilized, probably because of the slow growth rate. You can also use cardboard to line the bottom of raised beds before filling them with soil. Hold it together by mixing up a natural glue made from ingredients that can be found in the kitchen. How do I stop Bermuda grass from coming up through the material if I can’t “smother it” with cardboard? the cost is prohibitive), so the “show me the money” argument is a relevant factor in why the research is not as strong as one would like – apparently, this is a major problem for you. There is no comparison to apparent plant and soil health with and without cardboard. In every hole we dug there were no earthworms and there ground was dry. . Golden Cardboard Jenmanii Plants or King of Kings. Plastic is never organic nor is cardboard board. Cardboard boxes can be clustered together in any open space in the yard. Thank you. How do earthworms compete with your plants ? I’ll guarantee that’s what you were seeing under the plastic. That’s what’s required to develop a credible, reliable practice of any sort. Also like the sago, cardboard plants produce pups that grow into new cardboard plants. How about using it as a weed blocker under a brick walkway? If it’s sold as bark mulch, it’s primarily bark. One can be for wood chip but also be for cardboard. I don’t have much experience with the cardboard causing problems…. Zamia furfuracea is a cycad native to southeastern Veracruz state in eastern Mexico. And you need to have something else that you want to grow there to keep new weeds from becoming established. I see you recommend 12″ of wood chips – but that amount seems out of the question for 1000 + ft2. We’ve migrated the blog a few times and sometimes the links don’t get fixed. As long as you can isolate the root zone from nearby populations then yes, it will work. What if you are starting with a weed-infested area? Per your previous reply, it sounds ready to plant as the turf structure is gone. Wood chips are all you need, and their permeability is vastly superior to any sheet mulch. Cardboard, newspaper and other compostable material is a quick and easy fix for weed problems. Soil that is disturbed by tillage becomes depleted in carbon (organic matter) and the primary mechanism for that carbon loss is CO2 gas diffusion into the atmosphere. Growing potatoes “up” instead of “down” will also maximize your tuber yields in a much smaller space. I used this method in a former pasture,and there were some pernicious grasses that I think were helped by the cardboard. From succulents, snake plants and air plants to aloe vera plants, fiddle leaf figs, ZZ plants and monstera plants, we have many house plants, flower plants and indoor plants … If you are using wood chips (NOT bark), you will have good success with a deep (8-12 inches) layer over scalped weeds. Flowering and Fragrance. Keep the bottom of the box intact or open up the bottom flaps for potatoes planted directly in the soil. Water the site thoroughly once again. I would not put them next to wood siding, because they do hold moisture, but next to concrete they will be fine. But, what’s your position on newspaper? If you read the end of the abstract, and the end of the paper, it discusses how a simple mescocosm that has only microbes in its soil is not representative of what you will find in a landscape. You can also put them on an enclosed porch. Does this include layers of newspaper? These boxes are made to withstand rough handling and to protect the contents from the external environment. I wonder why worms congregate under plastic that has been left on concrete? That will be published this year. The plants was pale green & just didn’t look healthy. In this case, it might need new soil to properly dry out. Like most cycads, it looks something like a pine cone. Hi, Linda! The nematodes, protozoa, bacteria and fungi that form the soild food web are even more vulnerable to changes in oxygen and moisture levels than the plants and critters you *can* see. i am trying to smother crazy weeds like buttercup and morning glory. Thanks! Did you scroll all this way to get facts about cardboard plant? You may dismiss the experience on which we rely as ‘anecdotal’ and therefore irrelevant but if you do you may end up dismissively applying the word ‘anecdotal’ to such a vast range of useful knowledge and experience as to make the word useless. Can’t it send it’s runners up through the thickest piles of park? You can speed up the process by poking holes in it with a pitchfork or some other tool. What about those using brown material, like lawn bags? And I peeked under the cardboard at various stages including after full decomposition and the soil biota looks pretty rich to this biologist- and grows the best vegetables in our two gardens. Is there a published research paper somewhere that I’ve missed? That’s what scientific experimentation could tell you. Anthurium pruning also allows you to propagate these stunning plants. Shipping plants by mail requires careful packaging and preparation of the plant. A worm is a worm is a worm… Worm species’ behavior is as varied as humans’… I don’t buy your logic about worms… I lasagna garden with eisenia foetida, and the cardboard is eaten by the worms… Epigeic species are not the same as anecic species… And some of these plots have zero worms to begin with…. Always remember, everything composts, it is our job to pile it up and plug some starts in it. It’s well worth the initial work to get rid of 90% of the problem permanently. It is not topsoil and it is not natural. Absent that information, all we have is published evidence about worm behavior, comparative mulch characteristics, and cardboard manufacture. Arborist wood chips. I asked our local arborist about getting some wood chips from him, and he discouraged me, saying that there were many diseases that might be brought into our yard and infect our trees from them. It’s great that it works for you, but it’s not scientific research. In both of those cases, they are looking for moist but aerated shelter. The cardboard palm is only one of about 50 species within the Zamia genus. So let’s now consider using this tough material in your garden as a mulch. Nature doesn’t dig with spades or rototillers, it “digs” with earthworms by attracting them with a mulch (fallen leaves, pine needles, wind-blown green and brown debris, and so on) or ground-covers. They can also be arranged within a raised bed before adding soil. Cardboard Plants, Cycad Zamia Maritima 50 cm. As it decomposes, it supplies vital energy to the microbes that improve soil quality and structure. Solarization is useful for monocultural agricultural production because they aren’t terribly concerned with killing everything in the soil. House plants, trees, flower plants, garden flowers and indoor plants are great for upgrading or accentuating your decor. The link only points to a short synopsis of the study without a detailed conclusion. I’m always pulling up bindweed from among the chips as it is. I’ve seen this difference between two plants from cuttings from the same parent plant only several feet apart with drippers that were within ~2% output of eachother. And this is where it’s important to consider earthworm behavior. Lasagna gardening is not based on anything one would find in nature. So in my example, we know through multiple published papers that arborist wood chips are valuable landscape mulches that keep down weeds and enhance landscape plant growth. Around perennial plants I take a sheet of cardboard that is roughly a similar area as the dripline of the plant and cut a hole in the middle for the plant. So, maybe due to spending copious amounts of glorious time on my own due to pandemic, and being in later years I NOTICED when one cricket randomly came indoors. It’s open access. Lay single sheets of cardboard over the entire garden plot. So don’t assume your lasagna mulching draws earthworms to your garden. Place cardboard boxes, upside down, over each plant. Plant specs. Another method: use cardboard for pathways and layers of newspaper for the garden. The garden area is quite large, so I am not sure how feasible it would be to obtain enough wood chips to employ the deep wood chip method that you normally recommend. That is noble. newly relocated, housebound & isolated at the moment due to vehicle problems, I’m always seeking ways to save money, and, at same time am oh so desperately wanting to simply plant a vegie garden. I suggest you read some books on the history and philosophy of science. He grows everything from vegetables and fruit trees to shrub roses and peonies, using only two ingredients: cardboard and compost. But to make a convincing argument you need to provide published research. I have a follow up question. Four inches is minimal for weed control and has to be replaced frequently. Healthy soils are oxygenated, period, and the best mulch for them is a coarse organic one that breaks down slowly and doesn’t interfere with either water or gas movement. Some weeds I bury in several inches of compost and soil, but for the truly pernicious weeds in degraded soil – it’s the WAY – at least for me. I place 2″ of woodchips down, then the cardboard, then a 2″ layer of woodchips so I can’t see the cardboard. And unlike landscaping fabric made of plastic, cardboard won’t prevent nutrients or beneficial organisms from working their magic within the soil. That’s what constitutes actual evidence. The verticle fluting direction gives strength to the board… much like trying to crush a paper tube vertically. The first one, based on the recommendations of Deva Luna, who teaches lawn conversion in the San Francisco Bay Area, is to plant directly in the chips. Drip irrigation is beneath the cardboard. Whatever would be brought in to replace it is basically a little topsoil mixed with organic material. It's a tough plant that requires bright light but little care. Wood chips will not interfere with drainage. These ‘greens’ combine with the ‘browns’ of the cardboard to create sheets of humus as they break down together. Nary a sound (apart from the gale) not even the crickets! Many thanks for replying to my comment. If not, then said practice or product has no credibility. (Also – humus doesn’t exist in nature. After seeing your article, I just now attempted to remove it and nothing was there except a few edges of the cardboard. Sorry, but the biological and medical sciences have been so thoroughly corrupted now by corporate interests that I would sooner trust anecdotal evidence from a bona fide experimenter with the interests of the planet at heart than I would any published paper. Cardboard Palm (also known as Cardboard Plant and Zamia furfuracea) actually is a cycad instead of a palm, but its fronds resemble palms. There is no theoretical plant or soil science that would support the use of cardboard, so the additional lack of any practical published evidence means there’s nothing that a scientist could use to support the use of cardboard, given the collateral damage imposed on the soil ecosystem (which is totally ignored by gardeners who are solely focused on crop yields). Lay flattened cardboard down in flower beds, around shrubs and trees, and anywhere else weeds are a recurring problem. So why do you argue against it? Plus, microbes can go dormant when there’s not enough oxygen. I have found this post and thread to be fascinating and informative. There are many places like high elevation and arid landscapes that do not need or would be harmed by earthworm presence in competition with more efficient and adapted local detritivores (things that eat dead or decaying things). Wood chips do not wash away like bark does. The cones contain bright red seeds that, along with the rest of the plant, are poisonous to both people and pets. Here is the article related to my concern. We decided that a total kill was needed and went ahead with sheet mulching using cardboard and wood chips. Everything under it was dead dead dead by the time I bothered removing it. You get NO weeds with wood chips if you use a deep enough layer, and they don’t interfere with water and gas movement like sheet mulches do. What kind of plant damage do voles do? $14.99 $ 14. But you don’t explain the relevance of the observed rates of diffusion to subsequent plant growth or productivity. Planting & Growing How to plant and care for succulents Succulents come in a huge range of colours, shapes and sizes, will grow just about anywhere and don’t need much looking after, making them a plant that’s perfect for even the most novice gardener. Spider Plants are tough! If there is any tinge of green, it’s not dead yet. 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