Shredded Paper Mulch Questions

Geo_in_NW_Ontario(3b)July 14, 2005


I recently bought a paper shredder and have been shredding newspapers for mulch in the flower beds. I'm comfortable about using this mulch for the flowers but wonder if it would be OK for the vegetable garden too. Is there lead in the ink? What about flyers etc. that use coloured ink? What about the glossy coloured flyers? Your input would be appreciated.



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Rarely do printers use anything other than soy ink today.
I use all kinds of printed paper in the garden.


ps: How do you keep paper mulch from blowing away?
I usually either compost paper, or put another kind of mulch on top of it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 5:15PM
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mtmama42(z5-6 WV)

Don't use the glossy flyers (slicks).

Call the newspaper office and ask if ALL their inks - both black and color - are soy based. If so, no problem.

I have saved hours of weeding time this year by using newspaper. I don't even shred it. I just placed it 4 layers thick around my plants (flowers and vegetables).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:38AM
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granite(z6 NC)

wet the paper and it conforms to the area better, stays in place better, etc. Don't use colored fliers. Use office paper or newspaper.

I put a layer of mulch over the shredded paper or newspaper layer to make it neat and keep it in place.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 8:56PM
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Place cardboard on top of the soil. If you first wet it with a garden hose, it's easier to rip in order to make a better fit around the plants.
Carry a bucket of water along with your bag of shredded paper. Fill the bucket with as much paper as it can comfortably handle. Scoop out handfuls of soggy paper and place them on the cardboard in clumps. Something happens when the paper placed this way dries: it's almost glued together and it doesn't fly away.
I cover the paper with grass clippings (I add throughout the summer) because I don't like the look of whitish-grey flowerbeds.
Works great.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 4:37AM
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I just realized: my answer is for SYLVIA TEXAS, not the original poster.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 4:40AM
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    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 1:15PM
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Many of the garden sites I visited seem to think that all ink today is made from soy. This is a gross misconception. Soy inks are no safer than conventional oxidizing sheetfed inks. The only difference in the two is the type of vegetable oils used as pigment vehicles. The driers (cobalt and manganese) and the colored pigments are the same. These are the hazardous materials in the ink formula that could leach out of the soil into the ground water. Newsprint using black ink is the safest to use. The ink used is only solvents, veg oil,tree resin and carbon black.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 8:52AM
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I just posted on another thread about this.

superiorinkco registered March 21, 2007,
has posted 3 times, all on Frugal Gardening,
all almost identical in wording,
all reviving threads started in 2005,
all sounding very technical.

The best forum I know of for technical discussions of ink in the compost is the Soil Compost & Mulch Forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: superiorinkco's posts

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 2:56PM
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