After a few years the plastic fiber stuff breaks into pieces that
become a scattered mess. Newspaper breaks down much better. From a
recycle standpoint, newspaper is the select choice. No matter what
you use, seeds will eventually germinate.
Try this. Hold a piece of typical landscaping fabric up to the sun, and
look at it. You can see some light coming through. Not a lot, but you
know the sun is up there. Now hold 8 layers of newspaper up. You can't
see any light coming through.
Water will take a little longer to penetrate the newspaper than the
fabric, but while it's penetrating, it's soaking through, so you can
place either over the root zone of trees or shrubs.
But it's that lack of light that will keep most seeds from germinating.
Also, if the layers of mulch on top of the sheets is thin, thin black
landscape fabric will contribute to a warming of the soil. 8-layers of
mostly white newspaper (a typical page has much less than 20% coverage
with ink) will provide more thermal insulation as well, which reduces
the number of seeds that would germinate even if there was light, while
the landscape fabric will warm the soil sooner in the spring, and keep
it warmer into the fall. (Of course if you put enough mulch on top, this
difference is less pronounced.
While there can be *some* germination under 8-layers of newspaper, there
will be *less* germination than under typical landscape fabric when used
under the same conditions.
You had some interesting points but I wonder about one of them.
I start my garden seeds in a plastic box, with a lid, on the top of my fridge in
the kitchen. They all start growing just fine. Actually a little faster than I'd
Sprouts are grown out of the sun. They are placed in the sun before eaten to let
the plant product chlorophyll and give them some color.
I was under the impression seeds didn't need sunlight to germate.
My real email address is dealsgalore[A-T]earthlink.net
No one has still told me about using stone instead of paper. Will the
newspaper work under stone as good as newspaper. I don't like mulch as much
as stone becouse you have to had more mulch every year. thank you
Will stones hold the paper down? - yes. Is it as good as mulch? - no. Either
way, the paper will tend to supress the development of weeds until it
finally breaks down. But newspaper covered with a layer of organic mulch is
an excellent way to clear an area of weeds for later planting - you simply
just till it all under. Can't do that with stones and when the newspaper
does finally break down after a few months, the weeds will be back and they
will be harder to remove from the stones than they would from a loose layer
of mulch. Adding mulch each season or annually is a GOOD thing, specially
if you use a compost - replenishes and continually adds to the organic
matter in the soil, helps to conserve soil moisture in summer (something
stone does very inefficiently) and is more effective at supressing weeds.
Plus, it just looks better, specially when the choice is something like
those red lava rocks.
pam - gardengal
than mulch. If you persist in adding it to your garden beds, it will
migrate outside them into the lawn to dull your lawnmower blade and be slung
out the chute to break windows and injure people. It will migrate down into
the garden bed soil, even with "plastic" under it, which rips and shreds and
makes the soil anerobic and undesirable for plants. It will hinder routine
maintanence such as raking out leaves and debris, which will always leave a
small amount of organic matter behind that you can't get out and which will
eventually provide plenty of sustenance for weeds of all kinds to sprout and
thrive in it. Weeds will sprout and grow in just plain gravel, especially
if it's not well compacted, like a driveway would be. And, anyone whose
ever had a gravel driveway knows that weeds will sprout in well, and the
drive will need regrading and new gravel as maintainence. ROCK IS NOT LOW
Mulch needs to be replenshed annually, but that's a GOOD thing. It breaks
down into nutrients which your plants can use to feed from, and it improves
the texture of the soil. Application of even a thick initial layer of mulch
followed by a topping of preemergent herbicide in early spring will keep the
beds mostly weed free all season. And, if you need to fertilize, it's easy
to scratch it in under the plants and not worry about disturbing rocks.
If you are one of these people that insists on learning through their own
mistakes, then go ahead. You'll be one of the people in the future that is
griping about how they can't dig down anywhere in their beds without hitting
rocks and asking how to get rid of them. But, smarter people will learn
from the mistakes of others and not repeat them for themself.
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