Chiggers and Ozark Pavers

I posted this photo on my Facebook page yesterday and it drew a bit of comment. On several topics – “What is Gene wearing under that long t-shirt?”, “Is cardboard eco-friendly or not?” and “Isn’t that Ozark insulation?”.


I got into some chiggers last weekend and suffered for a couple of days from many dozens of bites. I took Benadryl, used Dial yellow soap (I know it isn’t the most healthy thing in the world but neither is scratching), and did spot treatment with Absorbine Jr. By the third day itching was minimal. So Gene put this cardboard layer around the table we sit at when taking a rest from gardening and yard work. The long plan is to put pavers and herb beds in the area but it’s way too hot now and too busy elsewhere so it will have to wait for cooler weather.

ANYway. I like cardboard. It’s sturdy, nice earth tones as Barbara noted, biodegradable, kills weeds, discourages chiggers. Downside is it’s pretty slick when wet. So be careful.

The post also brought up some discussion about it’s possible toxicity. Remember it is not a perfect world and all things in moderation. I found a lot of useful comments on this forum here. You might want to read it if interested in using cardboard in or around your garden. I found it encouraging. There is a lot of info on the web.

One guy posted this info below. I could not get his link to work though.

Direct from the OMRI website:

Generic Materials Search: paper

Status: Allowed with Restrictions
Class: Crop Fertilizers and Soil Amendments, Crop Pest, Weed, and Disease Control
Origin: Synthetic
Cardboard that is not waxed or impregnated with synthetic fungicide may only be used as mulch for weed control or as compost feedstock. See also PAPER.
NOP Rule: 205.601(b)(2)(i) As herbicides, weed barriers, as applicable… Mulches… Newspaper or other recycled paper, without glossy or colored inks.

Remember that this is the Federal mandate for certification, and home gardeners can use their own best judgement as to what they accept in their gardens.

Here is a link that might be useful: OMRI paper, plastic, cardboard etc.

Nowhere have I found the suggestion of formaldehyde in cardboard. Certainly don’t use fire-retardant or waterproof cardboard in the garden and always remember to remove and dispose of plastic tapes. They will never decompose!

So we now have a luxurious cushy cardboard deck around the floppy cheap metal table we put rusty saw blades on and it has a nice cheap floppy canopy held in place with a half rick of firewood and a couple of concrete blocks and rope. Ain’t life grand.

All things considered this is an improvement.

What is the nicest feature in your yard?

signature, Sarah

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4 Responses to Chiggers and Ozark Pavers

  1. Helen says:

    Good to know, thank you. Until recently I had never thought that cardboard was not okay in an organic garden.

    • S says:

      I use it when building a new bed. Much of my “ground” is had and weed filled and plenty rocky. In a hurry throw down the cardboard and build up especially if it is for flowers, ornamentals and walkways but I have used it in edibles beds too. It is always a trade off. Thank you for looking in!

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