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http://townboyinthecountry.blogspot.com/

I've been meaning to start a blog about gardening and stuff. I finally got around to it. Here's my first post - on making a compost pile out of cardboard.

Still working on the name for the blog. Here's the post, though the pictures didn't show here.

Making a compost pile out of cardboard

I love working outside in my garden. I have a decent sized garden of about 10'by 80'. One thing any garden is going to need a lot of is compost. Being a cheapskate, I'd rather not buy it. So I'm going to make it. Lots of it, and for free.

Cardboard is an very under-appreciated resource that we all use everyday. Most of the time, we throw it out, recycle it, or use it for storing stuff. But did you know that you can also compost it? Cardboard (and newspapers) makes a very nice compost, and I'm going to show you how I do it.

Being a pack rat, I always have lots of cardboard lying around. I get it from friends and family, from church, and anyplace else I can get it. As you can see, when I go to Aldis I get more than just food.


You can use pretty much any cardboard, but stay away from the boxes that are printed with shiny ink (usually in full color). That ink may contain lead. I often just soak the cardboard and then peal off the shiny side, and then I'm good to go.

I fill up a trash can (one I don't use for trash) with water and I soak the cardboard in here. You don't have to soak it long - a few minutes is fine. Just make sure it all gets wet.


I use a wheelbarrow to carry the wet cardboard out to the garden.



I am making this compost pile right next to my garden. If you were going to make a compost pile that would contain kitchen scraps, you would want to put it further away from the garden. But since this is only going to contain cardboard and plant matter, it is fine. You just wouldn't want rotting tomatoes or eggshells attracting rats or whatever to your garden.

I just pile the cardboard out on the grass. I am working on clearing this spot to expand my garden - so I am killing two birds with one stone. At the same time I'm making compost, I'll also be smothering all the plants underneath and getting it ready to be planted next year.




This first layer I did not soak first. I had already carried it all out and didn't feel like carrying it all back. I did soak it pretty good with the hose, but in the future I will soak them.
I layered it with cardboard and weeds.

While it's pretty easy most of the time to remove tape from the boxes, you'll always get a few boxes that the tape keeps pealing or is just hard to get to. The easy way is just to soak it, and once it's wet the tape comes right off. If you do miss a couple pieces of tape it's not a big deal. The tape won't decompose, so you'll probably find it when you compost. Just beware of the longer pieces that could get stuck in a tiller (though I would think a piece that long would be easy to spot).

More pictures to come as it progresses.
 

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I don't mean to rain on your parade .... but just some words of warning .....

"cardboard" is what you are referring to corrugated paper ...... the stuff shipping boxes are constructed from ......

There's lot of chemicals associated with corrugating paper and making the multi plys ....... paper is starched with a chem solution and PVA glue is most commonly used in laminating the ply build up ........


A little board used for lining pathways and later composting into the soil wouldn't be much to worry about ........ but your usage might be something to ponder
 

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I lay cardboard boxes down on top of the ground, layer my soil, compost, and peat moss. Mix it a little and plant flowers and greenery in it, cover with mulch. Those areas are so healthy looking and abundant. But I haven't planted any veggies using this method.
 
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