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?
- Anonymous3 years agoFavorite 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.
- CoreyLv 73 years ago
Do not shred it. Put down a layer several sheets thick, and then put a layer of dirt above it. The idea is that the weeds don't get deep roots are are easier to remove.
I've had mixed success with it, and don't think I'd do it again because there was a slight breeze the day I put it down, and that made it a PITA. Plus there's the "how many sheets" question. It does decompose by the next year mostly, but that can be bad if it decomposes early.
- TavyLv 73 years ago
Bad idea, it will get wet and disintigrate
- TexpersonLv 73 years ago
The problem with newspaper, and you use it in sheets not shredded. Is that within a few months, or less, the weeds start growing on top of the newspaper. It retains moisture and eventually composts, so all you get is a lasagna of weeds, some below the paper and some above.
Landscape fabric works for a while but the same thing happens, the weeds start growing on top. Best to hand weed when necessary and allow your beds to breathe. Cover with a thick layer of cedar mulch and that helps stop weeds but allows the bed to be healthy.