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Staying Weed Free with Newspaper

May 13, 2013

Newspaper-mulching makes weeds disappear instantly.  And it prevents them from re-emerging for an entire season, if not longer.  Pulling weeds can be a waste of time. For once the soil has been fiddled with (through the act of pulling weeds or digging up wild onion bulbs), more weedy things are encouraged to sprout.  But plants can’t grow and seeds can’t sprout if  they are covered with a thick layer of The New York Times!

First, water deeply. Then lay paper directly atop the weeds,  and in-between your ornamental plants.  BTW, water can permeate paper with ease.  Spray the newspaper with water. Otherwise, a strong wind will blow, and send your papers flying.  Wet paper won’t budge.  Finally, top the paper with mulch.  You can use shredded leaves or wood chips.

As the paper decomposes, it (and also the mulch) will provide food for beneficial soil organisms. In fact, if you are cursed with bad soil, try newspaper mulching.  You can also use cardboard.  Today’s newspapers are printed with soy-based ink. Even the glossy pages are coated with a non-toxic material.

Give it a try.  Your back may thank you.

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