The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, August 19, 2016

Modular Cardboard for Mulching

We had a pair of pet possums at home in Moline.
They are supposedly great tick eaters,
and ticks are a problem in this area.


Sassy and I sat down for a time with John and discussed birds and those times he saw me and I did not notice (Walmart Supercenter, one mile away). We usually slow down, honk, and wave at his house, so he and his wife can wave back.

We had a double-load of cardboard boxes in the front yard, which was covering up most of our remaining lawn. Mrs. Ichabod did not approve of storing the cardboard there, so I moved it this morning after Sassy's walk.

I doubt whether we will get enough cardboard to cover all the areas I want this fall, but we keep trying. This time I finished the second small garden adjacent to the bedroom, on the West side of the house. The cardboard was wet from yesterday's rain, so it was easy to tear and flatten out over the grass. That will give us a good planting area almost free of weeds next spring. But certain weeds come back more often than Ben Hur and King Kong put together.

Cardboard is a great modular mulch. Winds can pick it up a bit, but that is nothing compared to newspaper flying around. Both materials are almost the same, but newspapers get wet faster and dry out very fast. Cardboard is heavier, opaque, and gets heavily unmovable after a rain.

Bugs and worms love newspapers and cardboard. When either form of cellulose stays outside wet, the pile hops with crickets, crawls with ants, or attracts other critters.

The top layer of mulch will be leaves, grass, or evergreen needles. If we run out of weights to use, my collection of dead wood will also work for starters.

Mrs. Ichabod asks, "What will you do with the Wild Garden?" That was the first cardboard and leaves treatment, last year in 2015. Some of it plants itself, with Wild Strawberries and Pokeweed moving in, the two extremes. Wild Strawberries form a carpet of food under the perches of birds. Pokeweed grows in the shade, in the sun, over six feet when allowed, content to form little plants in the cracks of the sidewalk, where they also flower and fruit.

I began planting in the Wild Garden this summer. Almost Eden give me a couple of Daylilies that will tolerate the shade and spread. I also bought a row of Willows, which will grow rather tall and provide a pleasant looking screen to hide the quirky backyards of our neighbors. I just realized - it will hide my yard from theirs, too.

Sassy has various ways to tell us, from
whimpers to songs to scratching my arm.


We love the way the forces of Creation take over with a little nudging - not that these forces are slack. We cleaned up the area around the air conditioner fan, to prevent the grasses from sheltering slugs again. The reason? - a slug shorted out the AC on the hottest day of the year last year, a holiday. After a few months of watering the gardens, that wet area has gone green, grassy, and weedy again. I am picturing another disaster on a Saturday night or holiday, so I used cardboard mulch to deny anything green a chance to grow there.

Yes, slugs will still crawl across the soggy cardboard, but they are keen on climbing green things to reach new vistas. I got King Slug on my t-shirt one evening, when I leaned over the bushes in front to turn off the faucet. That was the biggest tiger slug I ever saw, and I have seen a lot of them. I was wearing him around inside the house when I looked down - wow!

Our Army Ranger landscaper on the corner has converted to cardboard mulching. He has raised flower boxes, which have favored the weeds a little more. Water drains from a slope or raised flower box, as it does from hanging flower pots. Weeds will grow up anyway while the roses are short the water they need and robbed by the weeds as a second insult. However, the layer of thick cardboard with wood mulch on top will preserve the moisture better, block most of the weeds, and encourage soil microbes and earthworms.

Mrs. I says, "Is coffee made yet?"