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How to Use Newspaper in the Garden for Weed Control

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Once gardeners have planted a garden and the tender young vegetables begin to emerge from the soil, most gardeners turn their attention to weed control. Weeds cannot grow amongst the desired vegetation because they will eventually choke out the good growth and take over. Weed prevention is a wise course of action, with mulch being a gardener’s most effective tool for accomplishing this. Choose newspapers as an affordable and effective mulch to control weeds in a vegetable garden.

Hoe the soil area between the growing plants to break up the soil and break loose weeds that may be growing.

Lay down a thick layer of newspapers around the plants and between the rows. Stack approximately 10 pages of newspapers so that the layer is at least 1/4 inch thick; cover all of the soil areas between plants and rows with layers of newspaper. Fold or cut the newspaper layers to fit into smaller areas, if necessary.

Use the hose and the spray nozzle to spray all of the newspaper layers after laying them down. This will keep the newspapers from blowing away before you apply the mulch.

Apply the shredded mulch over the newspaper to cover the newspapers completely. The shredded mulch serves to hide the newspaper and make the garden more attractive. It also holds down the newspapers and hastens the decomposition of the newspapers.

Work the newspapers into the soil in the autumn after harvesting all of the vegetables. Use a rototiller or a garden spade to break up the newspapers into smaller chunks. The next spring the newspapers will be sufficiently decomposed and the soil will be ready for planting again.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hoe
  • Scissors
  • Hose and spray nozzle
  • Shredded mulch (bark or leaves)
  • Rototiller or garden spade

References

About the Author

 

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.