Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Pasteboard Box

pasteboard box in garden

Earlier this year I convinced The Deer Hunter to build a garden bed behind the greenhouse, but so far all we’ve managed to do is to lay down some pasteboard boxes to try to kill the weeds.

Ever so often we clean out the chicken coop and add all the muck to a pile out back of the house. If you’re looking for worms that’s the place to go. I can’t hardly believe how many worms are in one shovel full of the stuff. If Chitter heads to the pile with an implement in her hand the chickens go wild because they know they’ll soon be feasting.

Our plan is to add a layer of compost on the pasteboard and then a layer of mulch. I was thinking about planting pumpkins or winter squash back there…but we’ve got to actually get the bed finished before we can fulfill my plans 🙂

I rarely hear anyone say pasteboard box instead of cardboard box these days, but when I was growing up it was common usage. Granny still uses the term.

The other day she told me to go out on the back porch and get a pasteboard box to carry home what I was taking 🙂


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  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    June 10, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Yes mam ms. Tipper, we’ve always called them
    Pasteboard boxes as long as I can remember! But some folks around here now look at me like I’m some kinda what they call backwards hick lol when I say pasteboard!! Thanks for sharing this one.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    June 9, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    I have never used the term pasteboard box but that sure is a good idea about killing weeds.

    Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Here in Tn. As far as I know we have always said cardboard. We put that in our beds this yr to. Our garden is doing good so far. We ate 3 cucumbers out of the garden. They were so good.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    June 9, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    I do not remember the term pasteboard being used in northeast TN. I do remember people referring to cardboard and paperboard boxes.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 11:53 am

    I used pasteboard as a young child but later on used both pasteboard and carboard interchangeably – still do.
    My daughter collects old carpet from others’ trash an uses them to kill out grass and weeds. Then, just as you do, she just covers them to compost and mulch before adding soil to create her gardens. She also cuts them to the appropriate widths and uses them as the base for the between row space for some of the school garden with which she works.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 9, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I just watched Corie and Katie in their latest video “Pressley Manor”. Something Corie did reminded me of a phrase I haven’t hear in a long time called “sun grin”. Have you or do you use that phrase? It’s when you squint to lessen the sun in your eyes. When you squint it raises your cheeks which in turn lift the corners of your mouth.
    I remember looking at pictures and seeing people with “sun grins”. Photographers like to have the sun at their backs to avoid glare on their lenses but it causes a subject or group to have to look toward the sun resulting in “sun grins”.

    • Reply
      June 9, 2021 at 11:38 am

      Ed-I have never heard of sun grins but I sure like it 🙂

    • Reply
      aw griff
      June 9, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      ED, we call them sun grins too.

      • Reply
        Sanford McKinney Jr
        June 9, 2021 at 2:22 pm

        We also called them sun grins in Northeast TN. Our sun grin days were shortened by a tall mountain on the east and a tall mountain on the west.
        We used to joke about our days being shorter than the regular eastern standard time.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    June 9, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Pasteboard box instead of cardboard box, cake of soap instead of bar of soap, Tow sack instead of burlap bag, …the list goes on.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 9, 2021 at 10:49 am

    I always thought of cardboard as the stuff cards is made from. One layer of a thick paper. Pasteboard on the other hand is the stuff most large boxes are made of. Two layers of flat cardboard with a third, corrugated piece sandwiched (pasted) between. A cereal box is made of what I call cardboard.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    June 9, 2021 at 10:19 am

    My parents always said pasteboard when I was growing up. I have no idea when I switched to cardboard.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Pasteboard box was music to my brain, as that is what my family always said instead of cardboard box which is what I use now. I’m sure it will work well in your garden.

  • Reply
    Jane D. O'Dell
    June 9, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Wow! This is so true! I hadn’t even thought about it but growing up, you’re right, everyone said pasteboard box and now it’s changed to cardboard. I’m not even sure how the change happened. Thanks for reminding us of our upbringing. Your friend in SC❤️

  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    June 9, 2021 at 9:54 am

    I was just out in my garden last evening, planting marigolds among the beans and watering somethings. What I wouldn’t give for some aged chicken muck to throw on it!

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    June 9, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Morning, Tipper. Yes, in our family cardboard boxes were pasteboard boxes. Our children would not have a clue what we were talking about if we asked for a pasteboard box! I so enjoy reading your posts every morning while I eat my breakfast. Take care!

  • Reply
    Marilyn C
    June 9, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t heard pasteboard box in umpteen years. My grandmother who lived to be 96 and long gone, used to say that all the time. Thanks for the memories. I am a recent subscriber and have fallen in love with your blog. I especially enjoy the music because it’s some of the same stuff I have played for over 30 years. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 8:48 am

    My friend was just talking about having to empty stuff out of pasteboard boxes and put it in totes. I told her it had been a long time since I had heard them called pasteboard boxes. That’s what my parents called them when I was growing up. I wish I had a big stack of pasteboard to put around my melon vines when they start running.

  • Reply
    Sallie Swor
    June 9, 2021 at 8:41 am

    I didn’t think about the word pasteboard until you mentioned the difference in using that and using the word cardboard but I rarely hear pasteboard any more. I use it as mulch by putting it down in overlapping layers sometimes on top of layers of newspaper and covering with just enough shredded bark mulch to keep it from blowing away. It seems to work better if the ground is wet when it is laid down and is even better if it gets a good soaking rain afterwards.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    June 9, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Yes, around here, most everyone used the term pasteboard box years ago. Now a days, everyone says cardboard.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    June 9, 2021 at 8:34 am

    I think that’s a great idea.
    It’s been so long since I heard anyone say pasteboard I had forgotten it was a word.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 9, 2021 at 8:34 am

    I heard pasteboard box growing up but it has been a long time since I have. For some reason I git the idea pasteboard was like cereal boxes, different from the corrugated cardboard. But I probably just made it up myself.

    Do folks up Murphy way use the expression “of a great mind to”? I thought of that yesterday when I was telling my wife I was thinking of transplanting our unhappy Yuletide camelia.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      June 9, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Well Ron, I’m not from up Murphy way but I’ve heard all my life that I have a mind to do such and such.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      June 9, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      “A great mind to” is how I’ve heard it all my life. “I’ve got a great mind to…

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 8:03 am

    When I was growing up, it was always pasteboard, never cardboard. I wonder when it changed.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    June 9, 2021 at 7:24 am

    I have pumpkins that always grow up from the pumpkins left after autumn that I eventually throw into a yard waste area. Every summer- bam! They pop right up. The aphids are hitting hard already on my tomatoes and petunias. It came a gully was her last night and I awoke to hickory tree droppings and leaves everywhere. My new sidewalk is not white and bright anymore…. lol I know whatever you plant will be very good in your area up for discussion. You and the Deer Hunter just got too much going for you not to succeed!!!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    June 9, 2021 at 7:19 am

    Yep..pasteboard box it is… Granddad Nick Byers was never wrong..

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    June 9, 2021 at 7:11 am

    My grand mother called iy pasteboard too.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 9, 2021 at 6:58 am

    You know Tip, pasteboard is a really logical name for a really genius invention. It uses cheap waterbase glue, paste, to hold together thin flimsey paper in a way that makes it very strong and substantial to build all manner and sizes of boxes. The inventor must have been a very clever person! The invention created a very long lasting industry that is still going strong.

    That’s gonna make a very good pumpkin patch and the chickens are gonna love the pumpkin seeds!

    You and the Deer Hunter are both such smart, clever and creative people, you can both do whatever you set your mind to, and your thought processes are very compatable…most of the time!

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