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does newspaper prevent weeds from growing

Does newspaper prevent weeds from growing

Newspaper breaks down quickly, usually lasting no more than a single season. This makes it an inexpensive option for annual vegetable and flower beds. Like fabric, newspaper allows moisture and oxygen to reach the soil while suppressing weeds, but it also decomposes and adds organic matter to the soil. There’s no need to remove the newspaper because you can turn it back into the soil each year when you replant the site. Newspaper won’t suppress weeds as well as fabric, but it’s cost and suitability for annual plantings makes up for the additional weeding that may be necessary.

Landscape fabric is the better choice when mulching a perennial bed, because it doesn’t break down quickly and can suppress weeds for five years or more when properly installed. Fabric is most often used in ornamental perennial beds, where it still allows moisture and oxygen to pass through into the soil but suppresses weeds. Fabric isn’t attractive on its own, but is well-suited for covering with a more attractive mulch, such as bark or gravel. Landscape fabric under gravel also prevents the small stones from working into the soil beneath.

Landscape fabric and newspaper both provide the benefits of a weed-suppressing mulch in your garden beds, but selecting the right one depends on your needs. Although fabric lasts longer looks neater, sometimes recycling your old newspaper into mulch is the better choice. The best mulching material depends on the type of plants you are growing and how long you need the mulch to stay in the garden.

Benefits of Newspaper

Proper installation increases the usefulness and the longevity of landscaping fabric. The fabric must lay flat against the soil and the joints should overlap by at least 6 inches so weeds can’t grow between the sheets. The fabric may pull up around the edges, so you’ll need to stake the edges down with U-shaped garden staples. If your garden already has plants in it, cut a hole in the fabric for each plant as you lay it, otherwise you cut holes in the fabric after it’s installed and plant the new plants in each hole.

It takes about three layers of newspaper to provide the same weed-blocking benefits as fabric, but the paper is easier to tear into smaller strips so you can arrange it in the bed as needed. Newspaper is always laid before planting. Overlap the seams between sheets, as you would with fabric to minimize weed penetration. Newspaper can blow away easily so make sure you weight it down as you work. A few well-placed stones or bricks, or a light covering of straw or another mulching material, will keep it in place.

Landscape Fabric Benefits

Purchase landscape fabric at Lowe’s or your nearest local garden center. This material is sold in rolls of varying lengths and widths, such as 3 or 6 feet wide.

The newspaper may degrade quickly during rainy weather, so check it every few weeks and replace it as needed.

While a few straggly and thin weeds just getting a start can be plucked from the area before mulching, established weeds need to be pulled and the area sprayed to ensure roots and spores don’t return and find a way through the barrier of mulch. Before mulching a new bed, pull all weeds from the area.

The developing roots will grow down through the newspaper layer as long as it stays damp. By the time summer is over, the paper will be part of the soil. . If you want to add a fresh newspaper layer in the fall, it will break down during winter into still more soil for next year.

How long does it take for paper to decompose in soil / compost? On average, it takes paper around 4 to 6 weeks to break down in soil.

A good use for shredded white paper in the vegetable garden is as a sub-layer below a straw or a compost layer. Spread the paper over your bed, wet it down, and cover it with straw or compost. It will serve as an extra protective layer to ward off weeds. . The paper can also be composted.

Do you need to pull weeds before mulching?

A: The newspaper can attract termites, but so does every limb and stick that touches the ground in your landscape. If you have a professionally maintained termite barrier around the house, it doesn’t matter if a few termites are eating your newspaper and yard debris.

36 related questions found

Weeds cannot grow in darkness. When black plastic covers these garden invaders, they die, and new weeds don’t sprout. Consequently, the best time for covering a vegetable bed in black plastic mulch is in early spring before the growing season starts. . Weeds can also grow in the spaces between mulched beds.

Will roots grow through newspaper?

You’ll need to weed your beds first and then lie down a thick layer of 8-10 sheets of stacked newspaper. (If you run out, wet cardboard will work as well) Cover with a thick layer of mulch (about 3″) and you’ll be weed-free for a few years before you need to lie down anymore!

Like fabric, newspaper allows moisture and oxygen to reach the soil while suppressing weeds, but it also decomposes and adds organic matter to the soil. . Newspaper won’t suppress weeds as well as fabric, but it’s cost and suitability for annual plantings makes up for the additional weeding that may be necessary.