Garden Journal: The Cardboard Experiment

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!  We had a lovely day and a fabulous dessert that I will be telling you about tomorrow.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was having trouble keeping my garden soil moist enough for my seeds to sprout.  Well, I did a little research and came up with something worth trying.

I was perusing our newest gardening book, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, and found the chapter on planting seeds.  It talked about keeping soil moist in dry climates, and suggested one may have to water two to three times per day!  Not going to happen!  But then there was a little sidebar about germinating carrots, which are apparently very sensitive to soil that doesn’t stay evenly moist.  The book suggested placing cardboard over the beds to keep the soil moist.  I thought, if it works for carrots, why not for other types of veggies as well?

Using rocks keeps the carboard in place even when it's windy

It appears to be working!  After a week of using the cardboard I have beet sprouts, a bunch of arugula sprouts, and a few chard sprouts.  I have also set up the drip system, which soaks the beds more deeply than the hose.  With the drip lines, I don’t even need to move the cardboard to water my beds.

Lessons learned for next year:

1. Set up the drip system right away!
2. Use cardboard until sprouts appear to keep the soil moist.

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1 Comment

Filed under Gardening

One response to “Garden Journal: The Cardboard Experiment

  1. I have not seen this book, but it looks like a good one. You have proven that reading sidebar text is really important. How wonderful that the cardboard kept your seeds moist and worked so quickly! Thank you for sharing that tip with us.

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