I use newspaper, at least double paged around my plants, then I put mulch on top. It helps to keep plant roots moist, all but eliminates weeds, and by the time the garden is to be tilled the next season, the newspaper has decomposed, and helps to enrich the soil. I simply rake my mulch back, till the soil, plant, place new newspaper, and replace mulch. Helps to save on the cost of mulch too!And a great way to recycle newspapers!
By Cheryl from Trinity, NC
By Everyman (Guest Post) 02/19/2009
What a good idea. Maybe this would be an answer to the cats fouling in the mulch too - if I suspect cat attack I can lift the paper. When do you add the newspaper? Is it too late to do this now?
It's not too late to do it, I add the newspaper around the plants as soon as I plant my tomato plants, etc. I sew rows & "hills" of green beans, squash, so i place the newspaper in between rows and around the hills, so the seeds can sprout. I use the mulch more to help hold the paper down in place. I leave it the entire season. I pull up the plants that die out, and leave all the paper & mulch in place until I till in the spring. I take a garden rake, pull back the mulch and till the decomposed newspaper into the soil. It really helped make my white clay soil much darker and richer. i also have a small goldfish pond in my natural area, during the summer when it needs cleaning, I use my garden hose to pump the old water, which is full of fish emulsions to water the garden. It may help deter cats since they wouldn't be able to dig down into the soil without a lot of effort.
By Katy (Guest Post) 02/22/2009
I have read that sometimes newspaper print may have lead in it's ink, and lead doesn't decompose. May be absorbed by the plants and absorbed by YOU. Please use caution when using newspaper as mulch in growing food.
hubby and i do the same put newspaper down
mulch on top. my son gets truck loads of mulch from the sewer plant.
might smell for a few days in the end have a beautiful flower and veggie garden
Newspaper is great for mulching, and for keeping weeds at bay. Newspaper does really great for my cherry bushes.
When I put in a new bed this summer, rather than remove all the sod I dug a hole for the new plants, covered the area around the plants with newspapers, then applied the mulch. Later when I wanted to add new plants, I pulled back the mulch and the grass was dead. Dug a new hole for new plant & reapplied the mulch. The decomposing sod and newspapers are good for the soil and the ground retains the moisture better.