• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Greg Martin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mark Tudor
  • Pearl Sutton

cardboard in my garden  RSS feed

Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi anybody gave any second thoughts to what is really cardboard?
For what I know it has layers of paper and between an industrial glue. The glue worries me. The chemicals that it contains and how it dissolves itself into the ground. Should it be even near my plants that will take into them those chemicals ?!
Any thoughts on that ?
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Martin Miljkovic : To the best of my Knowledge cardboard is made up using sodium silicate - "Waterglas'' While caustic, the way the card board holds together
in your garden, seems to indicate that it breaks down very slowly. There are other reasons to question the use of cardboard, as I am sure someone else will
comment on ! ( I have NO idea what is commonly used to glue The Box flaps together !)

You can find a good article on Sodium Silicate / Waterglas in Wikipedia - It has an interesting history ! big AL !

late Note : as you are typing your Thread our Permies Computer looks for Common/similar words/phrases, and the AFTER you have hit Submit prints a list of
Similar Threads at the bottom of this Page, Remember to always look there - and remember If the answer to your Question was unclear to you there were others
who didn't understand ether ! For the Good of the Crafts! Big AL !
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Many permies use cardboard, many don't. Paul doesn't. I use it in paths under wood chips. I only use cardboard from organic produce, because I don't want residue from any chemicals that other contents might have been treated with (fire retardant, fungicide, etc)

I have a pretty bad infestation of bindweed, a very persistent invasive weed. Heavy mulch is helpful in combating its spread, the cardboard/woodchip paths work for this. Otherwise I might skip the cardboard.

In the interest of letting toxics degrade I've been leaving cardboard out in the weather on pavement for a few months before use in the garden.
Posts: 2392
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cardboard, and all the chemicals it is processed with does break down. That's what fungi are for. And if you have a healthy garden, the fungi are busy de-toxifying all of the things that you mention. Even fungicides. See, you can't really kill fungi, you can just inhibit their growth. That's what makes fungal infections so difficult for medical personnel to treat. You get enough fungi ganging up on some "fungicide" and they will get the upper hand and decompose it.

Here's a page from the North American Mycological Association showing all the interesting paper products, like toilet paper and cardboard, that can be used as substrates to grow mushrooms. And if you are a little leery of eating oyster mushrooms grown on chemically treated cardboard, don't be. Fungi digest their food before they ingest it, so unlike fish that just pass DDT up the food chain unaltered, fungi will break down the DDT first, then incorporate it into their growing tissue.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts -Marcus Aurelius ... think about this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!