Just the word fills us with horror, doesn’t it?
One of my favorite methods of weed control is … drumroll, please! … ordinary, humble cardboard.
That’s right, the familiar brown corrugated cardboard that fills our lives–and our recycling bins–is an excellent resource for weed control. I use it in areas that are difficult to weed, for instance, underneath my thorny roses.
First, I choose plain brown (not glossy, or inky) cardboard. I flatten it out, taking time to remove any plastic packing tape. Then I lay a single layer in those spots where weeds like to grow (but are difficult to pull). Finish it off with a layer of compost or mulch.
The cardboard will slowly decompose, but it will smother weeds as it does. The cardboard could keep some water from your plant’s thirsty roots, but as long as there is enough water–and you take some care with your watering–it shouldn’t be a problem. Weeds are thirsty, too, so it isn’t a bad trade-off.