Thinking Green

Eco-Friendly Cardboard Weed Barrier for Your Garden

By: Danny Lipford

Rather than using herbicides, landscape fabric, or plastic sheeting to control weeds in your garden or planting beds, try putting down cardboard instead as a green solution.

To use cardboard as a weed barrier in your garden:

  • Break down cardboard boxes and remove any plastic packing tape.
  • Lay the cardboard on the ground in your garden or planting bed.
  • Wet the cardboard down with a garden hose.
  • Cover the cardboard with a layer of mulch.
  • When planting, cut a hole in the cardboard for each plant.

As the cardboard breaks down over time, it makes sugar, which attracts earthworms to improve your soil. Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

A lot of the time people have the idea that in order to think green, you have to think outside the box. Well, today I thought I’d show you a way to think green with the box by making a simple weed barrier.

You don’t even have to pull any of the weeds, just break the box down, and place it directly on top of the weeds. Overlap the seams so there are no gaps, then soak all this with water to really speed up the decomposition. Now you’re ready to cover this with mulch, which will compress down in just a few days.

Another benefit is that as the cardboard breaks down, it produces a sugar that attracts earthworms; which, in turn, creates healthy soil. You can plant anything you want in this new weed free bed. Just cut through the cardboard when making your hole. And, smile knowing you’ve helping to keep more waste out of landfills.


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  • Emily Williams Says:
    February 20th, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I have a 50’x150′ garden. I’ve been overrun by weeds, and pricker weeds. I want to use cardboard to control weeds this year. Do I overlap the cardboard, lay the mulch over the top, and then cut the holes for the seeds? How soon after I lay the cardboard and mulch can I start to plant, will they pierce through the cardboard? Thank you, Emily


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Eco-Friendly Cardboard Weed Barrier for Your Garden