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Gardening expert dispels all-too-common myth about killing weeds in your yard: '[It's] perfectly safe'

It will smother the weeds and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes.

Cardboard, Myth about killing weeds in your yard

Photo Credit: @thecottagepeach / Instagram

Having trouble keeping the weeds out of your garden? 

One Instagrammer suggested a commonly used hack — smothering the weeds with cardboard — and explained how it's not only effective but also safe for the environment and will give your soil a nutritious boost. 

The user, Dagny Kream (@thecottagepeach), posts gardening tips and tricks on her Instagram page. 

She begins her explanation by mentioning landscaping fabric, saying, "We all know landscaping fabric is bad," since that can actually make gardening harder and leach harmful chemicals into the soil. 

Landscaping fabric is typically used to smother weeds in your garden, but cardboard can do the same job — and it uses up those random boxes sitting around. 

Dagny explains that many are often worried about chemicals in cardboard from the glue and ink that boxes require. But she assures her viewers that the glues are often made from plant starches, and the inks are typically made from vegetable dyes. 

Any chemicals used in cardboard are "generally present in small amounts and break down when exposed to the elements," she says.

She also explains that, as long as your cardboard doesn't have a glossy surface, indicating a plastic coating, it should be fine to use. 

"[It's] perfectly safe to use in the garden," Kream assures her viewers.

In fact, not only is cardboard safe, but it's a cheap way to keep your garden healthy, too.

Besides smothering the weeds, it adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes, making it even more nutritious for your plants. 

The cardboard creates dark, damp environments that attract earthworms, which fertilize your soil and whose tunnels create space for plant roots to grow. 

All of this is great for your garden and even better for the environment. Using cardboard creates healthier soil for local wildlife while keeping it out of landfills. Cardboard will decompose quickly in your garden, but it would take significantly longer to decompose if piled up in a landfill. 

Comments on Kream's post were grateful for the clarification. 

"Thank you! I was concerned about that, now I don't have to worry," wrote one viewer. 

Another was happy to find such an easy, eco-friendly hack. They wrote: "Love this! I'm all for simple, cheap, safe solutions." 

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