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Michel Lodder





Member since December 19, 2017


Wet or not?

Hi Steaders,
Any specific reason you do not wet down the cardboard when putting it down?
I find it takes a long time to break down if you don't.
Sometimes, when my compost looks a bit "weedy", I put the cardboard on top of the compost, and then cover the cardboard with a woodchip mulch. Any thoughts on that?
thanks a lot for the vids,

Hey friend. Normally, my cardboard is broken down sufficiently that I don't worry about roots pushing through (though, at this point, I don't use much cardboard except in paths on occasion).

If you are having this issue, then cutting holes in the cardboard is a great solution. My only concern with a weedy compost is that you are increasing your seed bank. I personally would want to occulate, solarize, or force germinate and then kill off as much of that as possible, though even more preferable is sourcing or making compost with as low a seed load as possible.

Happy growing! Just got in from planting potatoes and checking on potatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuces, that are in the ground and checking our starts.

How much?

Hi Steaders,
How thick of a layer of compost do you recommend putting down? As I understand from the vid, your compost, with a mulch on top, is basically what you plant into later on. I myself cut slits at planting time in the cardboard and plant through the compost and cardboard into the soil, because I have noticed plants can take a while to grow roots through the cardboard, especially if it was put down dry. Any thoughts?
thanks, Mik

Thickness depends on your soil test results and your compost test results, and the type of compost, if that makes sense. Aka, you need to match what your soil/plants will need with what the compost offers.

For instance, I make four or so types of compost on our farm.

One is a screened, heavy duty compost. One is a screen, mulchy compost. One is an uncreened, heavy compost. One is my worm castings. Which do I use? Depends on the bed, the crops going in, the status of the soil, etc.

I used the screened potting type stuff for top dressing beds that are taking fine crops like lettuces/carrots. The screens high as a handful nutrient supplement for heavy feeders, like ginger, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.

To wet or not to wet?

Hi Steaders,
Is there a specific reason you don't wet down the cardboard when putting it down or before adding compost on top of it? I usually do because it breaks down faster that way. I've had cardboard that I did not wet when putting down, and it hadn't broken down after a year!
I sometimes put the cardboard on top of the compost, when the compost looks like its full of weeds/seeds. Is that something you have experience with?
thanks for the vids,