VeggieBoards banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
farm hack
Gardening is easy as throwing out seeds onto a patch of soil-- really, you do not need any raised bed, but I believe Growing in a cardboard box seems almost as effortless, especially compared to other raised bed ideas.

Save or collect boxes to create raised beds. I usually have boxes from my case of bananas or other fruit. These boxes then get used in the garden in some way. In this case, the box acts like a barrier for weeds. Typical Raised beds are made of recycled pallets assembled with nails and hammers, and even some saw work or digging. Using the cardboard box method makes gardening for elders and kids easily maintained, considering it requires no tilling, shoveling, hoeing, etc. Even raised beds made of dead logs requires much labor, for example hauling heavy, large logs from the woods to your desired location.

*I am not advocating for cardboard to continue to be manufactured to serve our own purposes; but I am advocating collecting materials that would otherwise go to a landfill.

pic from: meinlessmatters Although I have access to plenty of logs to make raised beds and hugelkultur mounds, and I have access to pallets to make raised beds-- I feel that a cardboard box garden can come in handy for overgrown areas of my food forest. For example there are patches of overgrown areas between flower bushes. Instead of layering soil on top of the overgrown spots--which may promote more weed growth--the cardboard would prohibit the weeds from growing up into the soil.
birds and blooms

Many Permaculturists use cardboard as the barrier layer between the grass/bare ground and the compost/soil/mulch layer. This ensures the weeds will not grow through the soil, competing with your veggies for nutrition. Keep in mind, cardboard boxes is a short term solution because the cardboard will quickly degrade with the contained soil. As the cardboard degrades it creates a surface medium for next years garden, for example: Continue to add soil/wood chips/compost over top the degraded/dilapidated boxes, which will continue to smother out surrounding weeds, and give you a chance to collect more cardboard for sheet mulching, which I have discussed in detail here: Straw bale Layering, & Lasagna Gardening (Sheet mulching).



Original post @ "Recycled cardboard box gardens"

-Cassie K

 

·
Vegan as f**k
Joined
·
2,228 Posts
Doesn't the cardboard box soon fall apart?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kiwibird08

·
Poo Pie Head
Joined
·
484 Posts
With all of the chemicals used in making cardboard, I would be hesitant in using this method. Neat idea, but seriously, so many chemicals (ie not bio based ones) would worry me, especially if I were to grow food or were worried about leaching in to the water table. It would probably be good for flowers and such though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you have several layers of mulch (which is the idea of Permaculture/Hugelkultur design) , there will be plenty of space between cardboard and plants that it may not leach. And of course you can use cardboard only for spaces where flowers are going to grow, or create pathways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would predict the cardboard will last a couple of months, enough for one growing season and harvest. As mentioned in the post, the cardboard will contain your soil temporarily, giving you enough time for next season to compost Overtop the cardboard as it degrades, and you will have a great mulched area for planting crops next season. My idea for using a cardboard box would be around a grassy/weedy area where I immediately want to plant flowers but need time to clean up the area. For example the outline of my property doesn't stay mowed often so lots of ivy and things grow up, but instead of mowing frequently, I can line up 10 boxes in one area full of soil and flowers, and this will suppress the weeds. Over time as the cardboard degrades, I will have a clean area where I can continue to add soil/mulch...I will never have to mow again ! :)
I hope this makes sense.
 

·
Vegan as f**k
Joined
·
2,228 Posts
Oh that does make sense :)

As long as they last long enough for the all important harvest :D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,959 Posts
With all of the chemicals used in making cardboard, I would be hesitant in using this method. Neat idea, but seriously, so many chemicals (ie not bio based ones) would worry me, especially if I were to grow food or were worried about leaching in to the water table. It would probably be good for flowers and such though.
I'm moving and now have lots of boxes I've been thinking would be great to use this way.
I clicked on the "farm hack" link sillybunns referred to and the use of toxins was addressed:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/45093.html

the use of heavy metals has been dramatically reduced; over 97% of inks on boxes are now water-based and non-toxic; and virtually all box plant trimmings (waste from manufacturing) are recycled.

The boxes I get from work are all new so I would think I'm go to go.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top