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Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?



 
 
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  #1  
Old 20-04-2004, 06:09 PM
Al Dykes
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

I've seen references to spreading a couple pages of old
newspaper out as ground cover for weed control. I have my doubts
about how rain water seeps thru the paper. Is it fast enough ?

If I punched holes with a pitchfork it seems to me that
the paper would shred and blow away.

Any experience ?

Thanks

--
Al Dykes
-----------
adykes at p a n i x . c o m

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  #2  
Old 20-04-2004, 08:05 PM
len gardener
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

g'day al,

i use newspaper on the ground when i make a new raised bed but i use
more than a couple of pages as i want to ensure that the grass
underneath dies out, i use between 20 and 40 pages thick at least, i
also wet it down as i lay it this is to hold it in the wind and to
give it a kick start with moisture saturation. where i live it all
rots away fairly quickly and the worms will eat through it any way,
they seem show a particular preference for anything with colour in it.

len

snipped
--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gardenlen1/
  #3  
Old 20-04-2004, 09:06 PM
Scott Taylor
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

I've read that colored inks can have trace amounts of heavy metals in them
and should not be used in compost....

I'm just being a parrot here, I have no confirmation if the above is true...


"len gardener" wrote in message
...
g'day al,

i use newspaper on the ground when i make a new raised bed but i use
more than a couple of pages as i want to ensure that the grass
underneath dies out, i use between 20 and 40 pages thick at least, i
also wet it down as i lay it this is to hold it in the wind and to
give it a kick start with moisture saturation. where i live it all
rots away fairly quickly and the worms will eat through it any way,
they seem show a particular preference for anything with colour in it.

len

snipped
--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the

environment
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gardenlen1/



  #4  
Old 21-04-2004, 03:02 AM
McQualude
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

"Scott Taylor" said:

I've read that colored inks can have trace amounts of heavy metals in
them and should not be used in compost....


You should only use the newsprint part of the paper anyway, not anything
printed in color like advertisements, flyers, etc.

--
McQualude
  #5  
Old 21-04-2004, 09:02 AM
len gardener
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

g'day scott,

i contacted an ink manufacturer over here and they told me that any
inks made here use vegetable colours as they can get as bright a red
or yellow etc.,. that they want that way. also i was told that even if
you had a full page of solid colour the weight of the ink is less than
2% the total weight of the paper and ink combined. anyway as i
observed the worms seem to go for the coloured stuff before the other.

len

snipped
--
happy gardening
'it works for me it could work for you,'

"in the end ya' gotta do what ya' gotta do" but consider others and the environment
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gardenlen1/
  #6  
Old 21-04-2004, 10:04 PM
Ray Drouillard
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?


"Al Dykes" wrote in message
...
I've seen references to spreading a couple pages of old
newspaper out as ground cover for weed control. I have my doubts
about how rain water seeps thru the paper. Is it fast enough ?

If I punched holes with a pitchfork it seems to me that
the paper would shred and blow away.

Any experience ?


I used to do it with great success. The trick is to put the newspaper
on when the soil is wet, so it keeps the moisture in, rather than out.
Also, wet it down so it won't blow away. If you have to, put some rocks
on it.

I used to have a tiny garden, so I watered with a hose, concentrating on
the place where the plant comes through the newspaper.

If you use several layers, the newspaper will easily last the season,
then be pretty well composted (or at least turned to pulp) by next
spring.


Ray



  #8  
Old 22-04-2004, 01:03 PM
Fran
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

"Al Dykes" wrote in message
I've seen references to spreading a couple pages of old
newspaper out as ground cover for weed control. I have my doubts
about how rain water seeps thru the paper. Is it fast enough ?


That depends on where you live and the climate you have. Where I live we
are now into the third year of a drought, newpaper controls the weeds in my
paths quite brilliantly. I lay down wads of newspaper which I wet by
dunking in a plastic bucket full of water. I lay these directly on top of
grass or weeds then spread sawdust or wood shaving on top.

The newpaper is long lasting and I seldom bother to look under it. When I
have looked under it, the soil is moist but probably from the runoff of
water underground from surrounding vegetable beds.

If I punched holes with a pitchfork it seems to me that
the paper would shred and blow away.


Why would punching holes int he paper do anything except make holes.
Surely you wouldn't lay the newpaper without planning to lay something over
the top of it to stop it blowing away anyway??????????

Punching holes will not by itself cause the paper to do anything except sit
there with holes in it. Wind causes paper to blow away and that will happen
if it is hole punched or not hole punched and it will certainly happen if no
mulch is applied. If you mulch the paper then it won't blow away or shred
until the mulch itself is either moved, rots or is blown away. Your muclh
on top of the paper is almost as important as the barrier you plan to create
with the newpaper. All the newspaper has to do is to exclude light for long
enough for the weeds or weed seeds below to give up the ghost.




  #9  
Old 23-04-2004, 09:02 AM
Janice
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 21:08:09 +1000, "Fran"
wrote:

"Al Dykes" wrote in message
I've seen references to spreading a couple pages of old
newspaper out as ground cover for weed control. I have my doubts
about how rain water seeps thru the paper. Is it fast enough ?


piggy backing here.. ..

When you use newspaper for weed control, it's to keep seedling weeds
from growing. It won't do a whole lot to stop strong perennial weeds,
but not even professional weed barriers do a lot there. If you make
sure the soil is adequately moist before you apply *any* mulch, the
mulch will help keep it moist. If you put a mulch over dry soil, it
will help keep it dry.

Once your ground is well watered.. and if in doubt .. choose an area
to sample and dig down and see how far you have to go before hitting
dry soil... and .. hope you do NOT hit anything dry. If you do, then
I'd put a sprinkler out there and water the area Heavily, let it sit
for at LEAST half an hour, an hour would be better so long as it's not
pooling or running off. Let it soak in, and move the sprinkler over
and water there for however long you have determined you can leave it
there before it pools up or runs off.. and water the entire area
you're going to garden and the adjoining area a bit so it doesn't suck
up the water away from the garden area. Do it again the next day.. it
won't take as long .. keep watering it until you figure it's going to
be damp down for feet not inches.. wait a day or so for it to get all
distributed. Check again in new spots near where it was dry before,
but not in the same hole because that soil will be all muddy more than
likely .. check or.. if you think you have done all you can.. THEN
soak any newspaper you want to u se, put wet paper on wet soil.. do
whatever it is you want to do with it.. then once that's done, yes
mulch it before it has a chance to dry out, it will keep much of that
moisture in. Then rain, watering that's lighter but steady will allow
water to pass through the mulch through the newspaper and into the
ground keeping it moist. Large amounts of water in a short period of
time is going to run off pretty much any ground, but one thing that
will happen once your ground is moist and you have mulch..like grass
clippings or anything they think is yummy, worms WILL move up through
that paper, and into the mulch so they will provide pathways for water
to move into the soil, with or without mulch or newspaper as long as
the soil is moist and there is food for them, they will come! ;-) By
then though, your desired crop will have grown enough to be able to
shade out weeds, and to compete with any that may start off to the
sidelines. The paper will have done its job, and become part of the
soil itself.

Janice

That depends on where you live and the climate you have. Where I live we
are now into the third year of a drought, newpaper controls the weeds in my
paths quite brilliantly. I lay down wads of newspaper which I wet by
dunking in a plastic bucket full of water. I lay these directly on top of
grass or weeds then spread sawdust or wood shaving on top.

The newpaper is long lasting and I seldom bother to look under it. When I
have looked under it, the soil is moist but probably from the runoff of
water underground from surrounding vegetable beds.

If I punched holes with a pitchfork it seems to me that
the paper would shred and blow away.


Why would punching holes int he paper do anything except make holes.
Surely you wouldn't lay the newpaper without planning to lay something over
the top of it to stop it blowing away anyway??????????

Punching holes will not by itself cause the paper to do anything except sit
there with holes in it. Wind causes paper to blow away and that will happen
if it is hole punched or not hole punched and it will certainly happen if no
mulch is applied. If you mulch the paper then it won't blow away or shred
until the mulch itself is either moved, rots or is blown away. Your muclh
on top of the paper is almost as important as the barrier you plan to create
with the newpaper. All the newspaper has to do is to exclude light for long
enough for the weeds or weed seeds below to give up the ghost.




  #10  
Old 23-04-2004, 10:02 AM
Fran
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Default Using newspapers for mulch/weed control ?

"Janice" wrote in message
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 21:08:09 +1000, "Fran"
wrote:

"Al Dykes" wrote in message
I've seen references to spreading a couple pages of old
newspaper out as ground cover for weed control. I have my doubts
about how rain water seeps thru the paper. Is it fast enough ?


piggy backing here.. ..

When you use newspaper for weed control, it's to keep seedling weeds
from growing. It won't do a whole lot to stop strong perennial weeds,


It will, you just need to spread a thick enough layer and keep it intact for
long enough to stop the light getting to the perennial weeds. All plants
need light to grow, without it they die.


 




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