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Newspaper for weed control

Posted by freedombelle2001 NE (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 10:11

I have thick layers of newspaper in my raised beds to kill weeds. My question is can I put soil on top of the newspaper then my plants and mulch instead of cutting holes in the paper to plant? Linda H.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Newspaper for weed control

Yes you can! If the soil is deep enough for the root system of the plants you have in there. Wet the newspaper very well. It will decompose over weeks, usually in time for the roots to get that deep, if just the soil on top isn't deep enough.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

You could, but that would mean putting at a minimum 6 inches of soil on top of the newspaper. There is no good reason to put down of many pages of newsprint that planting through them is difficult. 4 to 6 pagers is adequate.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

Just make sure whatever you were trying to smother is dead before you put holes in the paper or the whole effort will be for naught, the weeds will grow back through those holes. Usually the paper is covered with something when laid down, which keeps it moist and causes it to decompose within a few months. If your paper isn't decomposed yet, you may just have a very dry climate, put thicker layers of it, or it may not have been in place long enough to ensure the unwanted plants have been smothered. A pic always helps, if you feel like adding one.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

Adding soil over the newspaper defeats the purpose and seeds in the soil, or soon to find it, will sprout and be very happy.

I use 3 sheets of newspaper covered with 2" - 3" of cooked chopped hay. It totally stops weeds immediately. You have results that first year. Each year, I add another layer. Last year's layer becomes a healthy compost. I hear that you might place a thin layer of soil just before placing a new layer.

This is far superior to any weed fabric as beneficial insects and worms can get through it and are nourished by it.

After months of collecting a lot of newspaper, during the cold winter evenings over hot chocolate, I set a stack to one side of the table, all spread out and sorted. Then I staple three sheets to three more with about a 1" over lap. Starting rolling the stapled sheets and continue stapling more to make a long and rolled up sheet. This will make setting it out on the ground very easy.

Do not use any glossy sheets (evil chemicals) but newsprint with color pics are acceptable as the ink is soy based.

Hay can be expensive so, save your leaves, chop them with a lawn mower, save them for the spring in a large barrel. Leave them dry in the barrel and, in the spring, use that instead of hay.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

I used the newspapers down to control weeds and it worked very well, a few got through but was very manageable, and the asylum seeds did very well as you can see! Thanks for the replies you have posted to me.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

Nice picture.

For me, a few weeds in a garden are a sign of a healthy garden.


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

"Weeds" are simply wild flowers growing in the wrong place. A "weed" is any plant you do not want growing where you do not want it to grow. I have a "rosa rugosa" growing in among a Lilac so that is a "weed" because it is growing where I do not want it to grow.
Newspaper, cardboard, some landscape fabrics, block access to sunlight of any plant that is covered so those plants die, usually. Some very invasive plants
(Quack grass) will never be deterred by even a good coverage, but most of the time any new "weeds" that grow in mulches are from seeds dropped in those mulches or from plants that have sent roots into the mulch (many of the sorrels).


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RE: Newspaper for weed control

Freedombelle, that looks fantastic! Thanks for the update and lovely pic!


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