Old cardboard boxes are a good way to create an easy mulch for your garden or allotment over the winter, says Stroud Valleys Project.

Project Officer Nadine Smykatz-Kloss explained: “The tree planting season is now here so we are using corrugated cardboard as a mulch, which is a practical use for unwanted boxes and protect the roots of your plants at the same time.”    

sheetmulch5_displaySVP volunteers are using this technique on the new hedgerows they are planting in Slimbridge and Saul. They are aiming to put in 1,600 native plants over the winter.“A cardboard mulch put on at the base of a plant helps to prevent soil erosion, retains moisture in the soil, and keeps the roots of the plant warm. Corrugated cardboard, a readily available resource, will break down after one season, but acts as mulch over the winter and helps to suppress the growth of weeds,” said Nadine.

“We usually cover the cardboard with a bit of well rotted manure, bark or soil to hold it down.”


Anyone interested in using this technique can follow these easy steps:

  • Remove all the tape and staples from the box
  • Cut into easy-to-handle sheets
  • Place the pieces around the plant and extend it out from the base of the plant to provide adequate root coverage
  • Soak the cardboard with water and cover with manure, soil or bark

“The secret is to keep the cardboard moist so that it can do the job and not blow away, “said Nadine.

Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

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Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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