In the picture above, you can see my garden from last year. I have raised beds, so I put the mulch around the outside of the beds and the grass clippings inside the beds. This is a pretty good picture of both ways I use the newspaper underneath.
I love to garden, but I HATE to weed. Weeding seems like an endless chore and makes gardening, a task I love to do, much less fun. There are several strategies people can use to keep weeds at bay, but they are usually expensive or add unnecessary chemicals to the ground. I find that using newspaper and grass clippings, things I would normally discard as unwanted, are great at weed control.
As a couponer, I have no shortage of newspaper. Thankfully, I can turn my discarded newspapers into a great weed control devise. Newspaper is biodegradable and can be put down as a weed barrier in your garden. Instead of using that expensive black plastic stuff which is bad for the environment, I block weeds with the Hartford Courant and the Journal Inquirer. I take 3-5 sheets of newspaper and wet it thoroughly with water. It shouldn’t be completely sodden but moist enough not to fly away in the breeze. I then lay the sheets between and around my plants. In my flower beds, I cover the newspaper with a thin layer of mulch – just enough to hide the newspaper. The newspaper will eventually decompose, so you don’t have to worry about pulling it up. In my vegetable garden, I cover the wet newspaper with grass clippings. Not only are grass clippings great for the soil, I have a place to use them so I don’t have to bag the waste. I continue to cover my vegetable garden with grass clippings throughout the season. The grass clipping compost nicely, and the newspaper and clippings can be tilled into the soil in the late fall or early spring without worries. I’d like to see you do that with that black plastic stuff!