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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Cardboard Input Farming (in Kansas)

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  • david.keltie@gmail.com
    Yes - I do the same in my annual vegetable plots. I ve noticed though that slugs and other pests. seem to multiply when using cardboard.

I think birds,
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 16, 2008
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      Yes - I do the same in my annual vegetable plots. I've noticed though
      that slugs and other pests. seem to multiply when using cardboard.

      think birds, hedgehogs and other predators scratch out and eat eggs of
      pests from the soil over winter. They can't get through the cardboard.
      On the other hand, they chuck vegetable mulch all over the place to
      get at the pests that see them through the winter.

My conclusion is
      that using cardboard can result in more pests the following spring.
      Cheers, David

      On 12/16/08, Sara Mandal-Joy <smjlist@...> wrote:
      > I have found that cardboard is a very helpful thing in starting new
      > areas to be used in gardening.
      > Most of our 8 acres (SE Kansas) I leave natural, letting each year's
      > growth rot down and prepare compost for next spring. I scatter
      > seedballs in the early spring and have a harvest of buckwheat,
      > sunflowers, amaranth, pumpkins, and vining tomatoes. In the fall I
      > scatter rye and clover. Gradually these are taking over from the hay
      > that had been growing there for 30 years before we moved here. But I do
      > have smaller more concentrated kitchen gardens where I grow lettuce and
      > greens and such. I start these by spreading cardboard in early fall -
      > before the rains. I pull off tape strips before laying the cardboard.
      > Takes sometime, but I don't want any of those chemicals breaking down
      > with the weather and ending up in my garden. Plus, I don't want to
      > disturb the plot once laid out. With experimentation I've discovered
      > that with cardboard alone it won't fully break down. Mowing the area
      > first and laying the mowed grasses
      > on top of the cardboard to weight it down is helpful. Even better is
      > mowing the grasses/weeds, laying
      > cardboard, then topping with 3-6 inches of straw, rotting hay, or (what
      > I mostly do) gather weeds and leaves from elsewhere on the property and
      > lay on top of the cardboard. They will compost in place, and
      > come spring you have rich soft crumbly soil to plant into. Laying just
      > weeds/straw , without the
      > cardboard, does not in my experience reduce/rot the grass roots over
      > winter in time to be able to
      > produce a harvest the next year in a kitchen type garden. Over time, as
      > I am doing in the larger acreage,
      > rye and clover will replace the grass/hay, and leaving the roots and
      > last year's growth from the plants
      > I am growing there are also enriching that soil. In a few years I could
      > plant garden crops out there without tilling. But for small veggies the
      > first year or two with a new area of former grassland, cardboard
      > has allowed me to successfully have a harvest with no tilling. And I
      > have kept a lot of cardboard from
      > going into the landfills. DO make sure to only use brown cardboard, not
      > any with colored inks on
      > them. I've found tons of large pieces of cardboard at local furniture
      > stores. They are glad to have me
      > take it off their hands. Sara
      > ------------------------------------
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