Recycling gardening


I am not a fan of weeding. I like being outside in the garden in every other capacity. Weeding is like picking a fight with the slow, violent and mean kids in junior high — miserable, prickly and entirely unnecessary. Alas, this new non-desert environment is host to many a weed. I’m pretty sure I’ve got nearly all varieties of the natives thriving in my yard.

I spent no fewer than five hours the first week in this house outside weeding. Not reading. Not planting seeds, or mowing the lawn or staring at the bees going in and out of the giant tree. Nope. Five hours pulling up handfuls of noxious plants that made my hands itchy, contemplating solutions that didn’t require a fire.

I have a long strip of rocks between the lawn and my drive. The lawn, the flower beds and the entire backyard were full of prickly, poky, annoyances when I moved. Recognizing my limitations in patience, time and energy, I decided to conquer just that strip of rocks with a bit of recycling gardening.


If you are building a garden bed, this can also be called lasagna gardening. Start with one giant cardboard box you care to recycle.


Add a box cutter, a couple package of $3 garden stakes, several bags of mulch and a fair amount of elbow grease.

Recycling gardening area

Place the cardboard down first —  which will biodegrade with rain and time providing a layer of compost — over the weeds and desired area.

Recycle garden project

Add mulch. (Or if creating a garden bed, add soil, more cardboard, more carbon, rise and repeat layers.)

Voila — the inability for those pesky weeds to return/continue growing. The are stuck under Cardboardland, where they do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And do not continue to multiply like hillbilly bunny rabbits.

lawn, mowed~

And if for whatever reason you have the ability and energy to continue — mow the lawn. My vote? Lawns are dumb. A dumb waste of space and way, way too much physical exertion for too little gain. My permanent front yard will be permaculture and will not, under any circumstances, require a mower.


6 Replies to “Recycling gardening”

  1. Agreed!! We’ve never been a big fan of lawns, and after our stay in AZ, it just seems pointless. I’ve used cardboard as a barrier before, but mostly newspaper. What a stress reliever! I’m sure you’ll leave your place better than when you arrived.

  2. I used to feel that way too–but now I have kids, and I find that a patch of grass to run around on, or to lie on while looking at clouds, is a fine thing. (However, my patch of grass is much smaller than most lawns, and is surrounded by all sorts of garden/fruit trees/etc.)

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