recap: garden prep, with cardboard

THINKING OF CREATING SOME NEW BEDS next spring? Or as you’re cleaning up this fall, have you noticed that you need to smother some pesky weeds and turn existing beds back to tame? Don’t wait till winter ends; starting now–in autumn–make (or smother) a bed with cardboard, or newsprint. Here’s how to kill weeds and prep new gardens easily and without chemicals–perhaps where lawn grows now–and without having to till. Let the coming winter months work in your favor, and get a jump on springtime chores.

  1. Back when I lived in TN, we would lay down cardboard/newspaper in fall, then keep piling leaves on as we scavenged them from neighbors, along with straw swept from the Lowes’ parking lot. The worm population went through the roof and the weed population dropped to near zero.

  2. Kathy Borem says:

    I did this 3 years ago and still very few weeds. I will add to my bed this fall using the same technique. Walnut leaves are not good for composting but we have several apple trees and a pear tree that will work beautifully.

  3. Sandie Anne says:

    This year I used newspaper as mulch and then covered it with compost. It worked great! I am having a problem with creeping charley or ground ivy and wondered if anyone has any organic solutions. For the moment I try to cover it with newspaper or pull a lot of out after it rains and the ground is soft. I have made some good compost out of it!

  4. Lorraine Syratt says:

    I always do this when I know I’ll be creating a new garden in the spring. It’s a great prep tip. Makes it so much easier.

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