18 December 2007

'Tis the Season to Save Boxes

Long, long ago, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away,
I wrote this post called Spring Gardening in Layers.

Photo cflowers4159.jpg

Who in their right mind is thinking about spring?? And gardening??? She's off her rocker, that's what. (Well, yes, I am, but let's stick to the point.) I'm the first to admit that it is still August and this is quite a cool spell we're havin' ain't it? ;)

I opened my umpteenth shipping box today, and I remembered that now is the time for me to begin saving these corrugated beauties so I can lay them down as a weed barrier in my gardens this spring. Trust me, the effort I put in pulling off the packing tape and unwinding gobs of twisty wire makes it so worth it when July and August roll around and there are next to NO WEEDS in my garden! And the few little boogers that do make it through simply pull out like they're rooted in butter. Like buhddah.

Photo photos057.jpg

For the full skinny on this concept, known as Lasagna Gardening, read this article. In a nutshell, use cardboard boxes as your base layer/weed barrier and pile on the manure, leaf mulch, and topsoil, then plant your seeds right then and there. It works brilliantly. And saves your back and your tools if you have very hard and unhealthy soil (like we did in Dallas, and we do here in Maryland).

A long-term case study at my Dad and Mom's house is this: they've been lasagna gardening for more than 10 years. When I helped plant some new flowers last summer their soil was rich, dark, moist and healthy. Mom says she doesn't do anything to last year's soil, just starts a new lasagna layer each year. And over time, the layers simply decompose and mix together. They've got a good 10-12 inches of fertile topsoil now, whereas ten years ago it was hard clay-ish stuff that wouldn't grow a thing.

Photo abflowers1706.jpg

So... as your kiddies are opening their Tickle Me Elmos, Barbie Island Princesses, Charlie-in-the-Boxes, the Wiis and the drum sets...
as you're unwrapping the new treadmill, a set of skis,
the boxed set of Johnny Mathis Christmas albums... save your boxes! They'll make an ideal weed barrier for your spring garden. Think of all the fun you'll have sitting beside a crackling fire tearing off plastic tape and sticky labels all winter long.



Blogger Heather said...

ooh--good reminder.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Sarah St. Andre said...

I'm already thinking "spring", too.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I started layering last fall thanks to your good tip. Now I'm a crazy woman - saving boxes, newspapers and kitchen scraps for my compost. Thanks for the reminder - I think... :)
Merry Christmas to YOU!

9:57 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home