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 ?
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 !
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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.
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.
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