Here’s how it is done.
- I begin by saving all my old newspapers in preparation.
- I then spread the newspaper around the plants whose bed I will be mulching. I create a layer at least 5-7 pages thick.
- Once I have a section in place, I wet the newspaper with a hose to keep it from being blown around by the wind.
- After the area is completely covered, I simply spread the mulch on top to a depth of 1-2 inches.
The combination of newspaper and mulch block the sunlight from getting to the soil. This prevents the weeds from producing food (through the process of photosynthesis) that all plants need for life. Any small, existing weeds trapped under the paper will die while new weeds are prevented from sprouting.
Water is able to pass right through the paper allowing your plants to receive needed moisture, while the paper acts as a barrier keeping the soil cool and retaining moisture for longer periods of time. The newspaper is biodegradable and healthy for the environment. As it decomposes, worms and other organisms feed on it adding nutrients to the soil via their waste products. A "win-win" for the environment and the garden.
Using 5-7 layers of newspapers, I usually get one year of weed protection. So this is “Good News” if you’re like me and dislike pulling weeds. Give it a try and see how it works for you.