Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dont throw away that carboard - re-using and making do

I suppose like all gardeners I do a few strange things.  One is that I cannot bear to throw away (or even recycle) cardboard.  We were very blessed recently to be able to purchase some new items for our home.  These all came wrapped in a huge amount of packaging.  What couldnt be immediately torn up into the worm buckets and compost heap or used as mulch was laid in the veggie garden paths. 

This keeps it out of the way for now.  It soaks up the rain and watering runoff, so that when the compost has room again for more browns I simply rip up the floor!  Worms  (earthworms and red wrigglers) simply love cardboard, so even laying it down on a patch of dirt will do wonders to your garden.  You can cover it with mulch if you dont like the look of it. I was burying a pile of prawn shells under one such pice of cardboard last night and the worms were big and fat and juicy.  I wonder if they eat the prawn shells? - I know someone does, beecause within a  week there is nothing but lovely rich soil in that patch.

The other thing I do is make my own seed tape, and it has worked quite well with silverbeet and beetroot - two seeds I have found hard to start in the past.  Those seeds need to be pre-soaked, preferably in seaweed solution, and I found that easy to do once the seeds were encased in a strip of toilet paper.  Now they are coming up, all nicely spaced too!  Happy gardener here!






I love to see produce hanging down ready to be picked, but that often requires more room than I have in my tiny patch.  The cucumber vine is doing so well though, that I added an extension from one trellis to another. A piece of scrap aluminum bar was put to use for that.  I hope soon the paths will be lined with ready to pick cucumbers.  A salad bar!

What do you make use of in your garden?

15 comments:

  1. Coffee grounds from my coffee dealer (yes, its a bad habit) but they hand over all their grounds. It goes in the soil as worm food and on the soil as a pest deterrent. Egg cartons get torn up and put in the garden. They really soak up the moisture and hold it in place. Egg shells, i go through lots of eggs and so wash and store them in a box in the kitchen till they are dry. When it is full i sit down for a few minutes of scrunching by hand till its almost powder (i dont know why i like this so much) and then put in the worm farm or add to veggie garden as additional calcium.

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  2. Lynda,
    Our little cafe seems reticent to share their used coffee, which makes me mad - I am sure they just throw it away! I also add the egg cartons and egg shells to the compost or worms. Thanks - those were all great ideas I forgot to add. Interesting about the scrunching :)

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  3. I put my eggshells in the freezer and when I have loads I put them in the food processor and they turn to almost powder and then sprinkle them on my plants. I also use coffee grounds (not big coffee drinkers) and mix with water to pour over pot plants.
    When we removed our front lawn we used cardboard under the weedmat and then covered with mulch and pebbles, to stop the weeds coming through.

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    1. Sami,
      I just put the eggshells in as they are - they eventually break down... lazy I suppose. Cardboard is amazing for covering grass - also if you are making a new bed.

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  4. PS. If anyone wants cardboard, my factory in West Footscray ships off about 2 skips a week to be recycled.

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    1. Awesome, I heard of someone the other day that wanted to kill the weeds on 40 acres - wonder where she is?

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  5. Being currently gardenless, I've realised just how much was recycled into the compost bins, worms and gardens - even to the chooks. Between them all, anything organic was useful. I'm having to throw things out at the moment (esp cardboard and packing paper) and it feels very wasteful. Our local tip has a recycling area, but it's not the same as using it yourself. Can't wait to get a garden going again.

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  6. Roz, nice to hear from you. I was sure you had moved already. I know you will be setting up some compost bins as soon as you do! When I take our bin out to the kerb there is often just one or two little packets in the bottom :) It is a nice feeling. I agree, you often hear that recycling also creates quite a bit of waste so it doenst all get used up again.

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  7. I'm glad I found your blog today. I never knew that I could use cardboard in the garden. Thanks for the tip... :)

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    1. That is what I love about following other gardeners is that there is always something new to try!

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  8. I line my garden with cardboard also. It sure keeps the weeds down.

    Great idea about making your own seed tape. How do you keep the seeds in place while you plant the TP tape?

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    1. Marti,
      It does a great job, and the price is right! With the silverbeet and beetroot it was a bit harder as I wanted to keep it wet. Most of the time I use a flour and water paste to seal the layers (just tiny spots here and there) and then when it has dried the paper can be laid onto the soil, covered with a little coir or seed raising mix and watered in.

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  9. Christmas tinsel for (trying to) keep the sparrows away from my pea seedlings! and adding some festive cheer to the garden.

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