Gozonsky Farms

Project #17: Conserve water by layering cardboard under decorative bark.


Retain ground water. This also controls weeds and delights earthworms, who love cardboard.


Big cardboard packing boxes

At least two bags of decorative bark or wood mulch — size small. Size refers to the level of granularity. You can also get medium or large, which are chunkier and chunkiest. Small feels nicest for walking in your garden barefoot.


1. Whenever you get some especially gigantic cardboard boxes, set them aside until you have completed step 2.

2. Get two or more bags of decorative bark or wood mulch. I like the bark because it’s more decorative. The bags typically contain two cubic feet. Figure a cubic foot of bark for every two feet of ground you want to cover.

3. Lay your cardboard down between a row of plants.

4. Spread the bark over the cardboard. Wet it down. Cover with bark. Rake until it looks just right. I typically do about 10 feet a time. That much feels like joy. More than that feels like work. I like to do cardboard conservation on a rolling basis, because that way I always have something positive I can do for the soil.

Bringing joy to the soil.
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