I am experimenting with cardboard. I am laying down large, flat slabs of heavy cardboard over my garden this winter to test a theory. I’ve read that by preventing any light from reaching the soil during the winter, weeds will be prevented from germinating in the spring.
My friend Sean is contributing to my experiment by giving me the boxes from a large flat screen TV, two bookcases, and a queen-sized bed she bought for her new house. I dragged these huge pieces across my backyard and anchored them into place with rocks, chunks of scrap lumber, and some heavy branches that had fallen during a recent windstorm. A blanket of fresh snow the next day ensured the cardboard slabs wouldn’t sail away with the wind and careen into a neighbor’s window.
The best that could come of this experiment, I suppose, is that it actually works and my vegetable garden will be weed-free by May. The worst outcome is that the cardboard has kept all those weeds warm this winter and they will return with a vengeance. I can hear those little buggers laughing now.
Merrill Williams is the publisher of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.