So often when you want to start a garden or plant an area, the ground you have available, or want to use, has been neglected for some time and is covered in weeds. Well, that isn't a problem.
You can get a new area ready for planting without any weeding or digging first!
Instead of cutting the weeds away and then digging or tilling, just put down a layer of cardboard over the weedy or grass-covered ground.
You can get cardboard at the recycling center, or you can also use newspaper. If you opt for newspaper, use a thickness of 3 to 4 sheets.
Here's what to do:
1. First, cover the ground with the cardboard and then wet the cardboard thoroughly. You don't want dry cardboard, or else it will wick moisture from the soil we are going to put on top.
2. On top of the wet cardboard, spread a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) layer of organic mulch, or a weed-free potting soil that has lots of good organic material in it.
3. Wait for at least two weeks to allow the grass and weeds under the cardboard to decompose.
4. When you're ready to plant, using your trowel, just push through the mulch and cardboard down into the moist soil underneath. Dig a hole and set your seedlingsin place.
5. When you're done planting, you can put more mulch on the cardboard as needed.
The cardboard will break down fairly quickly and worms love it.
Depending upon the time of year, and the climate you live in, it will only take a couple of months, sometimes up to a year, for the cardboard to break down and decompose completely.
The good news is that once the cardboard is gone, because the weeds haven't had a chance to grow or get established because the cardboard stopped them, the area stays fairly weed-free. Just keep adding mulch as you continue your garden and you'll be just fine.