Condo Blues: Shredded Cardboard Mulch

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shredded Cardboard Mulch

Husband and I are so occupied with an interior house wide, declutter and donate mission that we haven’t paid much attention to the outside of the house.

By the time we realized we should keep our lovely compost and spendy topsoil from eroding during the winter with mulch, the stores replaced their garden supplies with Christmas decorations.

True story.

Last year I thought I was being a smarty smart when I raked all of the fallen leaves from the front yard into the flower beds to use as leaf mulch.

That didn’t work very well. I didn’t shred the leaves. The first big gust of wind blew my leaf mulch out of the flower beds and back into the yard.

Welcome to the reason I named my blog Condo Blues.

New plan: Make shredded cardboard mulch.

We plan on reworking the lavender bushes and plants in the yard next year. I just want something that looks decent from the street so the HOA won’t complain and will keep the topsoil from eroding until we are ready to borrow a rototiller to mix it into the soil next year.

Lacey was generous to allow me to shred the cardboard boxes from her applesauce fort and mulch the front yard with cardboard mulch.

Lisa entered her juice pouch belt (learn how she made it here) in a contest and won a year’s worth of Go Go SqueeZ applesauce! I made a fort out of the boxes to show Lisa that I can be creative too.

I emptied the cardboard boxes into an ant resistant storage container as part of our pantry pest proofing project. I removed the shipping labels, cut down the boxes, and shredded them in our paper shredder.

Shredded cardboard mulch!

It was a multi day project because I had to stop when the shredder would start to overheat and come back to it the following day. It wasn’t too bad because it gave me more time to cut down and empty more boxes from our decluttering project.

To keep my shredded cardboard mulch looking more like uniform mulch and less like shredded paper trash, I removed the shipping labels and cut off any printing before I shredded that part of the box. Most of the printing on our empty boxes used soy ink. However, removing the printing from the boxes with unknown ink also removed any concern about possible heavy metals in the ink.


We had enough boxes to mulch the tree ring and both beds in front of the house.

November’s One Small Green Change is to use shredded cardboard mulch for winter.


Shredded cardboard mulch isn’t the prettiest look but it works for now and the price was right. Besides in a few short weeks no one will see it because it will be covered in snow.

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1 comment :

Fran said...

Are you still using shredded cardboard as mulch? Any problems with it blowing away?

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