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adiowl

Cardboard weed control?

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Hi there, I was wondering if anybody has used cardboard around the bottom of newly planted trees as a method of weed control. What are the pros and cons of doing this? Is there a possibility that the cardboard might draw moisture from the soil during drier periods? Would it be a good idea to put a mulch on top such as wood chips/grass cuttings to weight it down? Any advice would be great. Thanks

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Yes, I use it. You need a mulch on top to stop it blowing around - good thick layer of something that won't rot too fast and deprive the soil of nitrogen in the meantime. I wouldn't use grass clippings, but do use wood chippings or old bark. With a mulch over the top it stays damp underneath and lets water through, rather than running off like dry cardboard does.

 

It's annoying when you clip the edges with the mower, but not as bad as old carpet! Carpet is also bad as I find it lasts too long and the mice move in underneath and chew their way through the tree roots.

 

Alec

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Thanks Alec good advice. Just out of curiosity what sort of trees have you done this around? Mine are small christmas trees, not sure how far from the trunk i should cover and how long it will be effective for. Im hoping to reach about 3 or 4 years from it.

Thanks again

 

Adi

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I'm sticking it round fruit trees planted in grass. I tend to use pieces about 4ft square. Needs a new bit of cardboard each year but sometimes the mulch can be raked off and just topped up, or you could just use weedkiller instead. I go pretty close to the trunk - inch or so, and if I'm watering in dry spells I feed it in through there so the water goes under the cardboard rather than over it. I'll be putting it down in the next few weeks as really you want it down after the winter rains (ha ha ha) but before the weeds start growing.

 

Alec

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I've used cardboard with chipped leylandi on top, Cardboard alone blows away :001_rolleyes:

 

From reading an article someone posted up on here chip with green leaf is better than chip thats all wood as has a more balanced C:N ratio

 

I got aldi to give me several van loads of cardboard for free, now just need to get hold of a load more chip.

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