To stop the birds eating my newly sown seeds, I cover them with a small amount of paper from my shredder. I also use this shredded paper in the strawberry patch to keep them off the ground and as mulch where ever it is needed.
By Gwen from Tasmania, Australia
Will using shredded paper in your garden cause the plants to absorb lead?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By Dianne from GA
Most, if not all, newspapers no longer use leaded inks. You could call your newspaper (or check online) to be sure; but I think you are safe!
Jilson is right but only use the black and white, not the slick, colored ones.
Nowadays the newspaper is not printed with leaded ink. I like to put a nice layer of shreds down under the compost I add to my raised beds each winter/spring. Adds more organic material to the soil, takes care of a disposal problem for me, and gives the earthwormies some more to munch on.
I love to shred personal documents and have seen many people using that around their garden plants and flowers. Is it really OK and will it benefit my plants and dirt?
By Kathe C. from Redford, MI
One year instead of the black landscape fabric we laid down newspaper for weed control before putting garden soil over it so I don't see why not. Use a little at first and see how it does breaking down first
Hi - this sounds like a good idea but I wonder if this will mildew? I have tried it in potted plants and it seems to "clump" and get messy but it may be okay for outside. I hope someone will answer that has tried it and can give us pros and cons.
Is there an eco safe way to dye shredded paper the color of dirt to use as mulch in flower beds?
By Miri from KY
Very interesting idea. The first two things I think of are coffee and tea grounds. They've been used to dye things for centuries.
Yes, you can dye with tea or strong coffee.
Thanks, I'll give it a try.
Fill a sink up with water and place all the papers in there. Wait a few hours and they will turn to mush. Stir them around and squeeze them out with your hands. I take those soaked and shredded papers, and mix them in with my garden or potting soil. It really helps to keep the soil light and airy thereby promoting better plant growth and over time the papers disintegrate.
This takes care of two problems. It is an effective way to get rid of papers that you don't want to go into the trash, but it also helps your plants and gardens to keep the dirt from compacting and becoming hard.
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
Better yet, start off with plantable, seeded paper. You can purchase plantable, seeded note cards and stationery at http://www.greenproductsgallery.com (06/29/2010)
Please be aware! Not all newspaper ink is soy based, especially colored inks. To keep heavy metals out of your garden avoid reusing the colored pages and where all else fails: ask your newspaper publisher what kind of ink is used. (07/23/2010)
While reading uses for newspaper, I thought I would share an idea given to me by a friend a couple of years ago. Putting shredded paper around your tomato plants helps keep tomatoes off the ground so they don't rot. Works really well and shredded paper just gets tilled into ground every year and decomposes in time.
By Lisa from Waynesville, NC
If you have red paper to use, all the better. Red reflects upwards and promotes the tomatoes' growth. (05/29/2008)
Also, newspaper placed around plants in garden deters weeds. (05/30/2008)