I plan on making a Lasagna Garden soon. I have a question regarding the type of cardboard to use. I have some cardboard from boxes that I think a computer (and I don't know what else) came in. (Some new techy toys) The box has some print on it. Is this okay to use in the garden or must the cardboard be completely blank with no printing on it? (I can just toss this cardboard and use plain cardboard) But if this cardboard is okay to use, then I'll use it. Thanks! This cardboard collecting is getting a little out of hand now!!!
SPRING HAS F I N A L L Y SPRUNG!!!!!
wavy, I can only speak from my experience and this past spring I used big pieces of cardboard which had held large tvs that I retrieved from Best Buy's dumpster. Printing was on these also. I have had no problem.
If the cardboard box has printing that looks like glossy paper the box is coated with either wax or plastic. If a box has printing on it that isn't glossy and the box came from the U.S. then the ink is probably water based flexographic ink. The EPA has been pressuring the box manufacturers to discontinue the use of oil based inks and use water based inks because they have a higher herbal base and lower VOCs. However, they haven't discontinued the use of heavy metals in the inks. Below is a link to a box manufacturer in the U.S.
I wouldn't use boxes coated with wax or plastic in my garden. I would remove any tape, labels, staples and ink printing from a box before using because of the presence of heavy metals before using non-coated boxes in the garden.
Any old cardboard will do. Don't worry about the printing I use the ones from work all the time. The only thing I do is take off the packing tape since that doesn't decompose.
I don't even do that, eventually I just pick it out of the garden when I find it and dispose of it. I used to remove it but it takes too much time. I do remove staples by cutting off the edges with a box cutter.
I prefer cardboard without a lot of printing tho. I got a huge amount at a local garden center as their large pots and other decorative garden things come in huge boxes and they have to pay to dispose of it at the landfill so were happy for me to take it. Filled my pick-up twice so had enough to give away.
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
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Because of costs mosdt all printing today uses soya based inks, not the petroleum based inks of days of yore. However, some of the colored inks might still be and those might not be what you would want in your garden and the easiest way to tell is to look to see if the printing is covered with a shiny substance, lacquer. Since petroleum based inks tend to smear, more so then soya based inks do, they are covered, overprinted, with lacquer to aid in preventing that.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
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