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Old 04-23-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
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Newspaper in the garden ... will this work?

Hello All,
This is the second year for our garden. Last year, we tilled up an 11 x 20 foot section in the backyard. We spent two good weekends picking grass clumps out - fun. This year, there is about a 1/3 of the grass trying to make a comeback. We are adding about 6 inches of compost to the entire site, then will till (roto-till) it several times to get it mixed.

Here's my idea ... If I lay a layer of newspaper over the site now (to kill the grass), add the compost and then till in about 1 1/2 weeks (the ground is too wet now to support the tractor or even a push tiller for that matter), will the newspaper be soft enough to break apart by that point? Will I just have chunks of paper? Ideas?

Thank you in advance!

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Old 04-23-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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The newspaper idea should work. Whether or not it degrades or not, it won't hurt being in your soil. I routinely use several layers of newspaper as mulch against weeds in my garden. Works well and "disappears" naturally.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:00 PM   #3
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Thank you Katie ... I guess if I do have clumps, I can just pick them out or bury them.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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Don't worry about picking them out. They'll disintegrate after watering and rain. Newspaper has a nice way of "going away" when subjected to the elements, especially water.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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It should be fine. My grandmother puts layers of newspaper on her garden between the plants and then puts grass clippings on top of that. it helps hold moisture and amends the soil. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember and has great results every year.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
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I would spray the area with Round-up if I were you. It's a systemic insecticide that kills the plant without poisoning the soil. It takes about 10 days to work, but then whatever you've sprayed is dead all the way down to the roots.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSoMD View Post
It should be fine. My grandmother puts layers of newspaper on her garden between the plants and then puts grass clippings on top of that. it helps hold moisture and amends the soil. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember and has great results every year.
You're right, Dave. Newspapers are just another mulch component.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:30 PM   #8
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Katie,

Yeah I add them shreaded as the brown part of my compost every week.
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Old 04-23-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I would spray the area with Round-up if I were you. It's a systemic insecticide that kills the plant without poisoning the soil. It takes about 10 days to work, but then whatever you've sprayed is dead all the way down to the roots.
Close. Slight modification on the instructions from years of personal use and observation:
First of all, if you have any plants there that you want to keep, you must remove them first or very carefully cover. Also, if you spray you have to wait at least two weeks before turning the soil and planting, or you will harm the new plants. 10 days is just cutting it two close.
Personally, I would avoid the chemicals and go with the newspaper, it is very effective and the preferred method DW uses for her garden clients. In this case she would lay down the newspapers, cover with the compost, and then plant directly thru it. Won't harm the plant at all, adds to the compost and betters the soil, and no chemicals to run off into the ground water.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:30 PM   #10
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Worms love newspaper. I also put all my shredder paper into the compost or around the plants. Decomposes quickly. They hate the sunday paper though. Too much shiny stuff that gives them heartburn.
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