Spring Planting in Cardboard


The Cardboard Collective

The Cardboard Collective

The Cardboard Collective

Last year I started experimenting with planting in cardboard even though nearly everyone around thought I was crazy. Well, not one of them was shy when the time came to harvest our cherry tomatoes…

This fall I made a simpler kind of planter utilizing the planter hangers that I have, and torn pieces of scrap corrugated cardboard tucked and layered inside. They over-wintered well, and to freshen the boxes up in the Spring, I just added new cardboard to the outside edges and removed some of the inner layers.

Spinach, salad greens, cilantro and nasturtiums…we can’t wait for our little sprouts to start popping up! And we’re curious to see how our experiment with the glass case (Used for displaying traditional Japanese dolls- there are always tons of these at the recycling shop) works for our tomato starts. We’re hoping to transform it into a home for adopted caterpillars……



Urban Gardening with Cardboard Planters

I made the cardboard planters by cutting a pineapple box to the desired size through both layers and then inverting the inner box. I also used a few strips of washi tape to brighten things up a bit and make the planter more secure.

I used the same concept to make the cardboard steps. I had to cut a second box to fit inside the top step for more support, but it does the job for Electra’s small time guerrilla gardening project in our stair well.

I’ve learned after a few years of living in Japan that you can get away with anything that is super cute / Kawaii (rhymes with Hawaii).

……Like a little girl growing a morning-glory in cardboard pot.

Flip it over and it’s a custom sized box or planter…

The planter on the right is what sparked the idea for making cardboard planters in the first place. They’re called Wonderpots, and they’re made from 100% recycled material. I’ve used them for the last 4 years and they work great. They last about two years before decomposing to the point that they need replacing.

My recent discovery of the waxy cardboard fruit boxes has got me thinking in a million directions. And the cardboard planter experiment will be the ultimate test of their strength.

I didn’t even glue or tape this planter together. I just set it in the planter holder. The only thing I did was poke a few holes in the bottom of the planter to provide drainage.

So far we’ve got a young crop of edamame and edible-pod peas going strong. We’ll see how our cardboard planter experiment holds up after a summer of growth and watering.

What about you, have you ever tried planting your annuals in cardboard?