Using wet newspaper to rid weeds

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by petunia, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. petunia

    petunia Young Pine

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    I started a topic on 'Many helpful hints'. Reading down through them, #5 reads 'Newspaper weeds away'. Layering wet newspaper over weeds is to help rid the weeds.
    I would like to try this method in my vegetable garden this year. Putting down layered wet newspaper in between my rows of vege's, so I won't have to pull much weeds. Am I living a dream of not having to pull weeds anymore? Has anyone used this method and how well does it work? Is there still weeds to pull? Is this a good method? Need some advice please, What do you think?
     



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  2. stratsmom

    stratsmom Flower Fanatic

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    I have heard of this before and plan to use it this summer in my own garden. The only thing that concerns me is earwigs :scheming: You know how they like dark, damp areas, will this attract them???
    Deanna
    :-D
     
  3. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    We've got big borders prepped with a thick layer of wet newspapers before planting. It works beautifully for root weed and seeds already underneath the newspapers, but you will have new weed seedlings in the top layer. There's no stopping dandelion seeds, at least not that I know of.

    The trick is to put the newspapers thick enough and overlapping enough, so no little beam of light will show the weed which way to grow. The newspapers will break down after 2-3 years here, and then we either make a new layer and put bark, soil or sand on top, or we leave it be because there are few weeds to pull.

    I like the method because I can still move the plants about or plant new ones by cutting a hole in the newspapers. It gives me more time to enjoy the plants too, because the seedling weeds are easily pulled out.

    Edit: Earwigs won't like to live underneath the papers as long as you're thorough when putting them down. Thick enough, and firmly pressed down.
     
  4. CritterPainter

    CritterPainter Awed by Nature

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    It does work really well but a) it's kinda ugly (an issue for some) and b) we can't do it around here because slugs REALLY love it when we try doing this. That said, I'm saving up my Sunday papers to lay on my garden paths before I put down fresh bark mulch next month. I can handle slugs in the path. I just roll a wheelbarrow over them and ta-daa! no more slug.
     
  5. mtathome

    mtathome Seedling

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    I did it, and it worked fine. I covered the newpaper with mulch or compost to hide it. Whenever I was working in the area, I was always raking up bits of newspapers for a few years and it did look messy, so I didn't do it again.

    Cardboard also works, but I think it breaks down slower because it's thicker.
     
  6. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

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    What a good-sounding idea. I like ideas like this. This might be especially helpful aroung my strawbs...it's hold moisture too!I am going to give this some serious thought.
    Thanks Petunia, you are a gem....and so is this idea.
     
  7. petunia

    petunia Young Pine

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    Thanks for the comments. I really think I may give this a try. We were forever pulling weeds around our vege's last year. By Putting newspaper down this year, I'm hoping not to weed so much.
     
  8. dirt2diamonds

    dirt2diamonds In Flower

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    I used the newspaper years ago (I had forgotten about it) this was before I tried using landscaping fiber, and it was very sucessful now that I think about it. You do have to replace it as it degenerate. It will work in garden rows but won't look so good as the sun dries and browns it.
     
  9. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I'd like to try this in my veggie garden pathways too. My only concern is the winds we get here. How thick does the newspaper need to be and what happens when it dries?
     
  10. petunia

    petunia Young Pine

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    "How thick does the newspaper need to be and what happens when it dries?"

    Netty, I beleive you'd have to put compost or mulch over the newspaper. This would help with your winds that you have. At the end of the season just mulch up the newspaper in with your dirt so it will deteriorate over time.
     
  11. mtathome

    mtathome Seedling

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    I used 8-10 sheets of paper, or an entire section, overlapping the edges. Soak the newspaper well before laying it down.

    Yes, cover it with compost or mulch, otherwise it'll blow all over your garden, and newspapers laying on the ground would look messy anyway.
     
  12. coolalaskan

    coolalaskan New Seed

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    I have an endless supply of heavy duty cardboard boxes that my dialysis solution comes in. Last year I used it in the pathways. It definitely kept the weeds down and another benefit I found was the ability to slide around my garden without getting up and down. Of course it has to be dry, but it didn't take long to dry up after a rain. The boxes got quite disintegrated. so I'm thinking of ripping them up and mixing them into my compost piles (I have several around the property). Another thing that was kinda cool is naturally the slugs loved to hide underneath the boxes; so I just turned over the boxes and picked up those slimy little critters and plunked them in a jar with soapy salt water.
    I know, it's an endless endeavor to try to get rid of them all; but I get some warped satisfaction putting them to death!! :D :D

    I do most of my gardening crawling around on my knees with a waterproof mat. My balance is not so good and I've found this the easiest way to do it. Gardeners will figure a way to get their hands dirty, eh?!!
     
  13. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Strong Ash

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    You are too right, CA! Where there's a will, there's a way. Gardening is worth any effort to one who has desire.
    Your solution sounds perfect. I believe that chucking the old cardboard would be great on the compost. I have used paper in mine as well.
    Say... do you have any pics of the plants in your garden from times past.
    It would be too early now, right...."Break-up" hasn't even been yet. Do you play the lottery for that each year?
    I guessed to within an hour one year, but a couple of other folks were even closer. Still, being that close was a sort of consolation for me. ;)
    This idea of Petunia's sounds quite interesting doesn't it.
     
  14. dirt2diamonds

    dirt2diamonds In Flower

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    Found it interesting about the slugs. The cardboard was a good trapper for them, but I am too scared to touch them so plunk one in for me this year. The cardboard and newspaper both are good for the compost pile and to keep down weeds. Good call.