Newspaper Mulch: The Cheap Organic Weed Barriercomments (6) March 29th, 2010
I can't believe how handy newspaper is in the garden. I use it for bedding in my worm bins, as extra carbon for my compost pile, and as a weed barrier for my garden beds. In fact, newspaper is the perfect cheap organic weed barrier. By using layers of it between the plants in my perennial bed and vegetable garden, I can keep those weedy little heads from popping up by both smothering them and with-holding sunshine.
Another advantage to using a newspaper mulch (or any mulch for that matter) is that it holds moisture in the soil. Like magic, plant roots stay cool and watered and you save time and money by watering less. While I don't have a perfect formula for this technique, I'll tell you how I do it. I take about 6 layers of open newspaper and lay it flat in between the plants.
For some reason, there's very often a good breeze going right about the time that I'm trying to spread out the newspaper sheets. At this point, you could run around like a crazy person attempting to slap down the edges before they blow away (I'm not saying that I've done this). But, if you do want to keep your dignity, just wet down some of the paper with the hose.
Anyway, once the layers are all down, I just spread some compost or another organic mulch, or soil over the top of the newspaper. No one is the wiser and it stays free of weeds for weeks. In fact, I really only have to do this a couple of times a season. I don't mind this a bit because I know that the microbes and the macrobes in the soil have done their thing with the newspaper and composted it right into my garden bed. And I'm all about the compost.
posted in: mulch, weeds