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Cardboard mulching for “instant” sowing?

Having bought my wife 60 squ meters worth of flowering meadow seeds for Xmas I’m now thinking about planting in March - we have a large area of lawn (token grass with lots of moss). As I understand it, I should have put cardboard and 2” of grass clippings down about six months ago, however we only moved in just before Xmas so this was not possible. 
So I have two options I think - spray off with glyphosate, or put down cardboard with 2” of bought pre-composted garden soil enhancer on top, roll it, and plant seeds in the compost.  My preference is the second method, especially since i have a garage full of cardboard, and I’m thinking the meadow seeds will root down through the compost and wet cardboard as the moss/grass dies beneath.
Is this a sensible option, or should i do something else?
thanks in advance,


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    I'm thinking there's a third option, if you want a wildflower meadow that includes grass. Hire a fairly heavy-duty scarifying machine, give the lawn a really good going over with it (in several directions) to pull out a lot of the moss and grass, and scuff up the soil, then sow the wild flower seeds. I don't know what particular mixture you have, but most wildflower meadow type plants like poorer soil - they don't need compost.
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 97
    I think JennyJ's proposal is probably the best route. If using cardboard you could consider covering in sand rather than compost to weigh it down and help the seeds germinate without adding nutrition. Overlap the cardboard by about a foot minimum to stop the grass growing through the seams. I think the roots will grow into the cardboard if it's kept moist, I score cardboard when I use it to help it absorb moisture but will also help roots to penetrate it before it starts to break down. The turf underneath will provide unwanted nutrition when it breaks down but while grass seeds are yet to arrive above the cardboard, the meadow seeds will be able to establish - it is largely about not providing nutrition to grass that will out compete the wildflowers.
  • ncevensncevens Posts: 3
    Thanks folks :) The seed supplier recommended getting rid of all existing grass because of the risk, as you point out, of it out-competing both the flower seeds, and the grass seed contained within the mix.  Would scarification alone remove enough of the existing grass?
    I’m wondering if scarification (reduces latent nitrogen by reducing grass) AND cardboard (kills residual grass) AND low nutrition mulch (sand) might be good, but this is getting a wee bit faffy
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,854
    edited 11 February
    Use  lawn stripper /turf lifter to completely strip off the top two inches.( Most of the nutrition will be in that layer) Then rake to a fine tilth and sow. Stack the turf upside down, soak it and cover with black plastic, to let it transform into lovely top soil for use in the rest of the garden.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,063
    Turf lifter would work too - I hadn't thought of that. I was thinking of adding flowers to the existing grass rather than using a mix that has grass in it as well as flowers, so thanks for clarifying :). If there's yellow rattle in the mix, that's parasitic on grass and would weaken it, once it gets established.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,854
    If you want to do that I would mow it as short as you can then add plugs of wild flowers in a suitable matrix.  I've tried growing seeds on top of grass. waste of seed.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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