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Old 07-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #21
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Thanks for the tips, midwesternerr. I was able to get woodchips from the electric company, a few years ago, when they were trimming right out along our property line. I've not seen them since...but you did make me remember my mom and dad stopping any time they saw a crew working...they'd give them our address to dump them, and give them a tip when they delivered.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:12 AM   #22
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...I should have removed more leaves where I planted the veggie seeds because they stayed too moist and rotted. The seeds I planted later after I removed most of the leaves did much better.
I normally start my vegetables indoors first, but this year I didn't plant anything, so I had to buy the 6 pack veggies in the store. I just cleared the leaves away around the plants, and they are doing well.

I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that past years the leaves decomposed before I was ready to plant. It struck me, this year, that I still have a layer of leaves this late into the year. I vaguely remember crushing/crumbling the dried leaves in my hand in the past, that would've made them decay faster...but I guess I'm happy to have a mulch keeping most of the weeds down.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #23
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I do not have the money to spread mulch over that entire area, nor do I have the patience or energy to flip all that sod. I found a posting on CraigsList for free clean fill that I can just go pick up. GO FOR IT!!!!

I realize havalotta's unable to answer right now, but I came to this thread hoping to get clarification on the ability to dump soil on top of cardboard. Has anyone successfully done this method and kept the bulk of the weeds out/killed the grass? I'm hoping to do this within the next two weeks and ideally plant it this late fall (mostly shrubs) and spring (perennials).
I'm Baaack and am doing my darnedest playing catch-up.

I just cut and flip the sod all along the edge when I create new beds. The interior is left as is but topped off with cardboard and-or multiple layers of newspapers (Non glossy) I too lucked out getting free fill from the city. I loaded big Tupperware bins into my car, Backed it up to the free soil and literally filled the super big bins with soil. Drove home and backed it as close to the bed as I could and shovel full after shovel full tossed it back out of the bins. Saved a LOT of lifting and hauling smaller buckets upon small buckets that way.

Dumping soil on top of cardboard works very well at smothering what grass you have underneath BUT and this is a big BUT take a look at what you are about to dump in....Move some of the soil around before you take home this FREE stuff because if it was just dug from an area containing grass etc....It just might have LOTS of active root shoots capable of REGROWING and you do not want that...As far as seed content Hmmmm That's a gamble I'm willing to take when somethings free. Now if it was composted first or many years in the sitting or whatever there'd be less chance of a ton of goodies-badies sprouting up once it's spread. There'll always be something in soil unless you get sterilized soil but what's the point of that as those goodies ARE needed to sustain life.... period!

Hope that answered whatever you were wondering, If not, give me another try> I'm here for you.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:35 PM   #24
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I have huge areas that I am smothering or planning to smother. I, too, can't afford to buy mulch for that expanse. Last fall, I collected bagged leaves in the brown paper lawn bags that people in a city suburb leave at curbside. I did ask permission, but I think you could just take them.

That is what I used last year to smother some areas.
What a wonderful way of hiding and topping off the uglies (paper or cardboard smothering technique) when you haven't money enough to purchase or any free fill for the taking. GREAT addition Dapjwy! Myself, I don't bother lifting the cardboard or papers to check on the smothering process as I know by next year.... most everything has disintegrated and the bed's ready to plant into!
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:39 PM   #25
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Great tips midwesternerr. With one layer my grass finds it's way to the surface. It is amazing how aggressive it is.
Oh NO! You need AT LEAST 4-5 layers of newspapers to keep things from popping through.
Maybe even a few more if you have strong, strong grasses like crab.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:49 PM   #26
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This summer, I'm thinking of using the invasive mugwort and Japanese knotweed themselves to cover the cardboard. If I get them cut back now, it will be before they go to seed, so no danger of introducing seeds to the area. I like the idea of using the non-native biomass to smother areas for my native plantings. Put them to good use.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:57 AM   #27
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That should work out quite well. Excellent use of those uglies!!!!
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:02 PM   #28
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That should work out quite well. Excellent use of those uglies!!!!
Thanks, I thought so too.

Unfortunately, I now have PLENTY of mugwort to work with...it took over the woodland to some extent...and the area above the woodland where I removed the overgrown forsythia hedge. I was just out there today sickling a path through it--I definitely will have plenty to work with for smothering (but I'll need to get a LOT more cardboard first).
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:22 PM   #29
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What about talking to your grocer. They squash or burn boxes daily. Maybe they could save them for you.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:29 PM   #30
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McDonalds where I worked in the past had cardboard recycling and people would ask if they could take it. No tape on the boxes, so I'd imagine they'd work well.

Recently I got cardboard in bulk from a restaurant in a small plaza, they were setting out to recycle. Could check produce shops too.
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