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?

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  • 4 years ago
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    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.

  • Roddy
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Newspaper tends to rot a lot faster than landscaping fabric. You need several layers and even then it may not last the whole season.

  • 4 years ago

    We use it as it is. It doesn't last as long asa the fabric does.....but the price is great.

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