I was thinking on using paper for mulch. I want to bury it about a inch
with dirt to prevent weeds in my veggie garden. Will this cause dangerous
mold growth since its wet and dark under the ground
I don't know about mold, but I was thinking of using paper in my veggie
garden too. A friend of mine warned me though that the ink on the paper
might be harmful to the veggies. Can anyone comment or give advice?
This is a very common practice. I use newspaper quite frequently in
this manner and have never had any problem with mold--in fact, the
only problem you may have is if you sprinkle your garden with a hose
sprinkler, the water may not penetrate the newspaper. If you irrigate
your plants this is not much of a problem. The newspaper will act
pretty much like any other organic mulch and the inks used, for the
most part, are no longer metallic based but are soy based. Do not use
the "glossy" paper that comes with the weekly "ads" section of the paper.
I have used this method for the past few years and it is a life saver!
Just put a few layers of newspaper down and cover it with straw or
lawn clippings. Then punch holes in the paper with a pitch fork to
allow the water to seep through. If your garden is small enough you
could run a soaker hose under the newspaper as Bill said.
Stuart Pedazzo...but you can call me Stu!
Absolutely not. Using newspaper as mulch is and has been a great way to
recycle papers, as well as keeping weeds under control. I save every
newspaper we get and use them all the time. Last summer I mulched my
tomatoes, peppers, beans and cucumbers and the only weeds I had were a few
strands of grass very close to the stems of the plants. I left a small hole
for water to penetrate quickly around the plant. I also mulched a huge hill
(150' x 25') on the back of our property with newspaper and weedblock on top
to keep weeds from resprouting. I'm filling the hill with grasses and
Zone 7b - North Carolina
I use just one sheet deep for weed control. I wet it down in a bucket (it
makes it easier to lay esp. if it's a little windy), then spread it around
the plants, not touching them,. then I throw a shovelful of dirt on the
edges, to keep it down once the paper dries. With only one sheet deep, it
controls weeds and you can still sprinkle water, because the paper quickly
becomes saturated. The paper eventually decomposes over the year and can be
tilled in before planting the next year.
On 08 Apr 2004 01:15:10 GMT, email@example.com (Scott) wrote:
I saw mention of using newspapers to mulch beds, they said 4 or 5
sheets thick, spread over the planting area (for setting out
transplants) wet it down, and then make a + or x cut through the paper
and fold back the corners, dig out enough soil to plant your
transplant, then fill the dirt back in around the plant, fold the
edges of the paper back ..you should probably fold the tips of the X
under to make a ring to water through, but that depends on how you
water, any dirt left exposed is just a place weed seeds can sprout
The several sheet thick layer of newsprint is enough to discourage
seeds from sprouting. It won't stop strong perennial weeds from
coming back from root, but it will certainly reduce your weeding, and
help keep the soil moist once you have gotten it moist to begin with,
and you mulch over it with grass clippings, peat moss, or whatever you
have to use. I would avoid uncomposted wood chips or sawdust or
shavings as they will rob nitrogen from the soil as they decompose. I
got some bagged version of soil aid but it smelled like turpentine! I
thought the stuff was composted before they bagged it up, but they
don't. I think that would be best used around established plants with
some paper or landscape fabric down between it and the soil.
As far as using shredded newspaper, I figure you could probably use
that like straw or hay.. scattered thickly between and around plants,
use only paper with black ink, no colored inks as they carry toxic
metals like cadmium, once the shredded papers are moistened a few
times they will form a mat, as the pulp fibers the paper was made from
separate and swell. Worms may try to eat the shredded stuff more than
the sheets of paper. (trivia Commercial worm bedding is made from
ground up paper with grains or other worm food... or it was when I
used to catch night crawlers to sell to the people who packed the
worms into cups to sell to bait shops in 1970s)
There are all kinds of stuff you can recycle for mulch in your garden
..it's all a matter of how fussy you are and how nosy your neighbors
are., regarding how your garden looks. I figure a vegetable garden's
job is to grow and produce as much food as possible in the time
allotted. Sure, it's nice to have them be pretty all the time, but
there are times when you use "found" objects for mulch, the
newspapers, cardboard, carpeting..I'd turn the fuzzy side down. ..
you can always put a thinner coating of "pretty" mulch for "looks".
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