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I read your article describing using cardboard under mulch. Does the cardboard hinder the absorption of water before it starts to breakdown?Thank you for all your helpful hints

No, there are seams that allow water to get through.  The cardboard and mulch on to of it help preserve moisture preventing moisture loss from evaporation.  This method wouldn’t be a good idea in a dry climate since the cardboard wouldn’t break down quickly.  Here in the damp northeastern US, the cardboard or paper breaks down quickly enough that it poses no problems.

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