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Corrugated and your garden

04 May 2023

Corrugated cardboard and boxes may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to gardening. However, when you think that it started out as trees, there’s not many products that are that natural to use in your garden.

But as the weather starts to improve a little and National Gardening Week gets underway, we thought we’d share some tips on how it can sustainably help you tend your patch of garden greatness.

A place to call home

Recently, FEFCO shared a wonderful bee box that can be used to provide a safe haven for bees. Corrugated makes a very nice home for bees with the corrugated fluting providing plenty of space for them to nest. But it’s not just bees that love corrugated – sheets or boxes can also be used to great effect when building bug houses in your garden as its flexible and provides a different texture for bugs and insects to enjoy making their home in.

Grow your own

Corrugated can be particularly useful when growing vegetables in your garden. If you’re growing in raised beds, old sheets of corrugated or flat packed boxes can be laid at the base of the bed… just make sure all the sticky tape and any labels are removed prior to using.

Or it can be laid over dormant plants to protect them from frost and animals who may damage the plants when they are ready to start growing again.

It’s also fantastic as mulch to prevent weeds and stop stubborn weeds taking too much hold. Known as sheet mulching, simply lay sheets of damp cardboard over the areas you wish to target and create a sandwich effect with garden waste or compost to help retain moisture and prevent movement of the board.

Other top tips include:
• Cardboard, can be shredded and used in compost bins to give a richness to compost that’s full of nutrients
• Open boxes can also be successfully utilised as cloches to protect young plants from cool and strong winds often experienced in early spring.
• Use smaller boxes and get the children to paint them and fill with flowers for grandparents or teachers. Just remember to use a bag as a liner.

Charles Dowding, Gardener, and advocate of ‘No Dig Gardening’ said in Country Living Magazine; “Cardboard is amazing to kill the weeds. One piece of cardboard overlapped on the edges with a bit of compost on top will do a great job. It’s simple and quick.”

Who knew that there were so many ways that cardboard could be used in our gardens?!

Just remember to try and use board and boxes that are not too heavily printed, and that any non bio-degradable tape and labels are removed prior to use in your garden.

To find out more about National Gardening Week visit