Lubyloo asked in Home & GardenGarden & Landscape · 1 decade ago

Using newspaper in flower beds?

When using newspaper in a flower bed to keep weeds out, do you shred the newspaper first, or just leave it as is? Does newspaper work better than landscape fabric?

9 Answers

  • Eggman
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Shred it only if you want it to decompose faster, otherwise use whole sheets of newspaper, office paper, or even corrugated cardboard (like pizza boxes). They don't stop weeds better than fabric, but they're biodegradable and therefore much better for improving your soil and allowing self-seeding perennial flowers to proliferate.

    Personally, I hate landscape fabric and never use it, except under stone walkways. It will never biodegrade, it's ugly, and eventually you'll end up wanting or needing to pull it all out after you inadvertantly pull up a small section of it.

    I would use several layers (3-4 pages thick or more) of newspaper, covered by 2-3 inches of a mix of shredded leaves and grass clippings. Over time, earth worms will incorporate all of this material into your soil and improve its composition and drainage.

    If you like wood chips or tan bark, you can use it over the newspaper. I still prefer the shredded and composted leaves/grass clippings, although it doesn't look quite as nice. Then again, the bark mulch only looks good for a little while, anyway.

    Do this every year, and you'll have perfect loam to grow your flowers in.

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Using newspaper in flower beds?

    When using newspaper in a flower bed to keep weeds out, do you shred the newspaper first, or just leave it as is? Does newspaper work better than landscape fabric?

    Source(s): newspaper flower beds:
  • 1 decade ago

    I have tons of experience doing this, here are my thought!

    I don't like landscape fabric. For one it's usually made out of artificial materials that will never decompose and eventually have to be torn up and thrown away. Also it never stays looking nice. In every garden I've ever been to where this was used (and I've been to a lot!) after a year or two the fabric ends up being torn, sticking out of your soil in awkward ways, and just looks terrible. Plus as everyone else said, it's expensive!

    I DO like the newspaper and wood chip mulch option, I have had much success with this. It works great keeping weeds down and also clearing an area of lawn you may want to get rid of. What you need to do is put down a good layer of newspaper (black and white only, no color), say 5-6 sheets thicks, over the area you want weed control in. It might help to dig out a few large weeds first but this isn't necessary. After your have one section of newspaper down cover it with at least 6" of wood chip mulch (not shredded bark, this will form a water resistant mat). Lay down another section of newspaper, spread the wood chips, and continue!

    Another option instead of newspaper is using burlap sacks. I like these even better but they can be a lot harder to come by. The good thing about the newspaper and burlap is that they will eventually decompose into the soil, leaving you with a wonderful weed free garden bed.

    Of course remember that weeds will still come here and there no matter what you do. The weed battle is an inevitable part of gardening. :)

    Source(s): I work for
  • 1 decade ago

    Snails will love the moisture retentive Newspaper, I would use landscape fabric as it won't breakdown.

    Yes it is more expensive, but doesn't cost all that much. Cut up a few plastic bags if you have just a small spot (landscape fabric allows water to pass, a bonus if under trees.

    Alternatively skip them both and use Preen (Provided you aren't starting your flower beds from seed)

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know about newspaper, that will probably just get wet and be useless after awhile. With my flower gardens, like when I bought mulch, I would cut the bags open and spread them and lay them down first or use trash bags to stop weeds and grass from coming in, and cut around where you're going to be planting. Then throw the mulch or rocks over it.

  • GARF
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Landscape fabric will work better but obviously cost more. I've used newspaper; covered with mulch. No need to shred.

  • 1 decade ago

    News paper is far superior to landscape cloth. Use 7-9 layers then mulch. Shredding isn't recommended.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago


    Here is a good resource about landscaping if you need ideas and tips


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No just spread it out.An no.Landscape fabric is better but a lot more expensive.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.