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Using newspaper to prevent weeds?

I recently read that you can take old newspapers, get them wet, and lay them in your garden in between plants about 5 papers thick (with wood chips on top to finish it off) and this will naturally prevent weeds from growing. Has anyone ever tried this? It sounds like a great way to recycle old newspapers and save my back from having to weed at the same time. :-)
 
i have tried it and it does work however everytime that the paper gets wet it rots a little more so its one of those things that has to be done every year and if you step on it and it gets a tear then that is where the weed will come up so what we did was we took the daily news paper and left it folded the long way and overlapped the edges so that it formed a seem it worked pretty good then.remember how the old banana combs worked that is how you fan the papers together a the bottom of each newspaper one going left the next going right
 
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Newspapers around tomatoes is almost essential to keep any soil borne diseases away from the plants. Using other mulch such as grass clippings, shredded leaves, or straw on top of the newspapers helps to keep most weeds away, too. Like flutterby said, overlapping the newspapers helps deter the weeds.

I also use newspapers with boards (from the old deck) to keep them in place, between rows of carrots, etc. The weeds aren't quite as plentiful, but neither are the grass clippings, so I have to be choosy where I can use the clippings.
 

............................................................................

"Leave Room in Your Garden for Angels to Dance."

West of Denver           Zone 5b

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Newspaper works very well to suppress many "weeds" that could grow in the garden. Newspaper can block a plants access to the light plants need to grow and that either prevents the plant from growing or because the plant is deprived of access to sunlight causes that plant to die. However newspaper does need something to hold it in place, as well as hide it, so some mulch, grass clippings, shredded leaves, wood chips, will help do that.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I did the exact same thing in my flower garden last year. I laid the newspapers down, cut holes where the flowers were to come up, soaked them with a hose and covered with a few inches of mulch. I barely had any weeds in my flower garden last year!! We'll see if it holds up this year - I'll let you know. Good luck!!
 
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I was thinking about trying newspaper as a weed controlling mulch this year myself for my potatoes .

Here's the plan...

I plant my potatoes in 25 foot long, flat topped hills about 30 inches wide. The hills are heaped up about a foot above the ground level. I bury a soaker hose in a furrow in the center of the hill. I put my potato sets on an isometric (triangular) grid along each side of the soaker hose, so that they are spaced about 18 inches apart.

This year I will cover the tops of the prepared beds with 5 or six layers of newspaper, then I will wet down the paper and use my bulb planter to drill down through the paper to create my planting holes, drop in the potato sets and then back fill the holes.

Then I'll cover the whole works with hay as usual.
 
[i]Mulch where you can Till if you have to Weed when you must It's all part of the plan[/i].
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I have used newspaper for years in the garden, it has been a back saver and time saver when it comes to keeping weeds in check.

It's the next best thing to peanut butter when it comes to the potato patch. Nothing worse than having to hoe 100 hills of potatoes.

I always wet it and put straw, hay and/or grass on top. Yarrow is excellent also, lots of nitrogen.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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I've used newspaper or cardboard covered with grass clippings as a weed-suppressant mulch and it is very effective.
 

______

canadiyank, Zone 6B, central WA

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By the way, it is not necessary to wet newspaper before applying it, and I find handling wet newspaper more difficult than dry is. I have watched people lay newspaper down over a large area and then cover it with mulch, and even then the wet paper tends to blow around in a wind.
When I am putting newspaper down I will lay a section and put some mulch on it right away to hold it there and have not had a problem with the wind blowing that paper away.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Mumsey:
quote:
Yarrow is excellent also, lots of nitrogen.


Does yarrow add nitrogen, when it is growing, or are you saying, when it is cut and used as a mulch?
Cuz I have yarrow growing over more land than I would really like, and am preparing to pull some of it.

ellen
 

New Jersey Zone 7A

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I suppose it depends where you live whether it's necessary to wet the paper down or not. Where I am, we have nothing blocking the non stop spring winds we get from the west and it would be futile for me to try and do this without wetting the paper first - tried it both ways and for me it definitely makes a difference putting it down wet if you live in a windy area. It just makes it heavier and you don't end up chasing your paper halfway across the county. With the paper wet, it gives me a chance to turn around and reach for the mulch to put over top of it without having to keep one foot on the paper at the same time (I'm sure it looks like I'm playing a version of Garden Twister to passersby!) Everyone's areas are different so experiment and do what works best for you.

Newspaper is a great weed barrier and if you use a heavier mulch on top of it to hold it in place, you'll be rewarded with time to sip your lemonade this summer instead of pulling weeds non-stop.

Happy gardening! Smiler
 
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Thanks for all of the info. I am definitely going to try putting newspaper down before I add my mulch. I think I should be able to lay them down dry since most of the days here aren't too windy and the garden is surrounded by a fence. I am glad to hear you don't have to wet the paper first. It sounds much easier to do dry.
 
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I have areas on this slope that will not change very much as far as adding new plantings. I used cardboard on those areas. I missed some other areas and I've noticed that there is no onion grass coming up through the cardboard, but some of the woody weeds are coming right on through. Either way, it's a great help. I did this in the fall and now, it's looking a little wrecked with corners poking through the mulch, but I'll just have to add a little mulch.
 
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WHere I live, my worst weed is Ground Ivy! I have to use some kind of weighted material on top of newspaper or cardboard to completely block out the light... or the ground ivy will find the light to cone up through anything. It has even overtaken that black film retardent stuff. I hate Ground Ivy. WHen a weed can smother mints.. it has to be a pest. Ground Ivy is trying to invade my lasagna beds. ARGH! Perhaps I should get a blow torch? Any other suggestions?
 
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Yarrow as mulch will add nitrogen, iron, potash and phosphate. Don't let it go to seed and don't transfer any roots to your mulch as it can be invasive.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Mumsey,
'nother yarrow question:
so -if I lop off the roots, and there are no seeds, do I use the yarrow as mulch just as it is, or do wait and let it turn brown and dry?

well now that I write that I'm thinking it must be the former, cuz if it was brown and dry, it wouldn't have nitrogen etc would it?

thanks.

this is great - that I can use all this yarrow for a good purpose.

ellen
 

New Jersey Zone 7A

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I used to just go out and cut it off with big shears and threw it green on the garden, on top of newspaper. None of it ever grew that way. And it holds the newspaper down.

But we moved, now I don't have it and I'm not going to plant it! No room here for such invasive things.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Mumsey, if you miss it, I'll be happy to send you some. Big Grin
 

New Jersey Zone 7A

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