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Weekly Tips | March 22, 2010

Cardboard in the Garden

Dusting off your gardening gloves? Before you head outside, bring your excess cardboard with you. Cardboard works as a natural weed barrier and can suppress weeds around the base of plants or under gravel, stone, or woodchip paths. This natural alternative to chemical weed controls has many benefits – it lasts a long time and allows some air and water through, which is healthy for the soil underneath.

To use, layer pieces of cardboard in the areas where you would like to control weeds, and cover with several inches of compost, manure or other material. According to the Washington Toxics Coalition, cardboard is more effective than landscaping fabric, is non-toxic and creates a semi-permanent barrier. 

Resources: SPU "Alternative Pest & Weed Controls | Washington Toxics Coalition | SPU Pesticide Alternatives

The Big Picture

In 2001, the total amount of pesticides used in the U.S. approximated 1.2 billion pounds(1).

According to the EPA, all pesticides are toxic to some degree. This means they can pose some risk to you, your family and your pets. Pesticides can also kill earthworms and other beneficial organisms, which disrupts the natural balance of the soil(2).

The healthiest choice you can make for your garden and the environment is to look for natural and non-toxic alternatives to pesticides.

Pesticides are considered hazardous waste and can be safely disposed of at one of King County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities(3).

Sources: (1) EPA 2000-01 Pesticide Market Estimate: Usage | (2) EPA Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment | (3) King County Hazardous Waste


cardboard  weed control 


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