Weeds - the bane of gardeners everywhere. Here is a simple, cheap, and perfectly safe solution to preventing weeds in natural areas, flower beds or even a vegetable garden and you probably have at least one or more delivered to your home every week.
It’s the newspaper. Once you read it, you can recycle it or you can re-purpose it to snuff out stubborn weeds without using potentially toxic chemicals.
Like the black landscape fabric you may be used to seeing, a layer of newspapers will keep sunlight from reaching young weeds waiting to emerge. Newspapers also encourage earthworm activity, which makes your soil better in the process. As the worms break down the paper their waste provides fertilizer for the soil and their tunnels help to provide beneficial oxygen.
Plus, it’s simple. Clear the area where you want to prevent weeds from sprouting. Layer sections of the newspaper across the area. If it’s windy you can lightly water the newspaper sections first to prevent them from blowing about. Overlap the layers by several inches to prevent gaps.
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Put down at least six to eight sheets. The thicker the layer of newspaper the better the weed control. Spray the papers lightly with water until soaked. Cover the area with leaves, grass clippings, straw, bark or rock. It looks better when the soaked papers are covered but it also helps to keep them in place until they break down.
There’s no need to worry about the ink on the newspapers.
In the past lead, cadmium and other toxic heavy metals were commonly used in paper inks. Now, however, most publishers use organic pigments, which are the same as those used in tattoos, lipstick, hair coloring and other cosmetics.