Gardening Tip: Use Newspaper as Weed Blocker

When you've taken the time to carefully plan your garden, outdoor path, or raised bed, the last thing you want creeping back in are uninvited weeds. And while there are certainly affordable and effective methods out there, we like this cheap (free, even) and creative reuse solution.

Here's how to utilize a stack of old newspaper in the garden.

1. Collect old newspapers from friends, neighbors, and maybe even libraries. We collected a few weeks' worth of free events chronicles for our project. Paper bags will work for this purpose, too.

2. Put in some serious elbow grease (this will cut work later, we promise) and weed the area you're working with.

3. After weeding your space and evening out the ground, lay a layer of newspaper between 2 and 4 sheets thick, slightly overlapping. If it's at all windy, be sure to spread out the dirt or mulch over your paper as you go, so you don't wind up littering the yard with old news.

4. Enjoy your weed-free zone! The newspaper will biodegrade in time, but in the meantime, it will provide a solid solar block for any weeds living below. Breakthrough will be minimal, and if any pesky weeds rear their head, you can zap them in a green way by following the tips here.

Have you used newspaper as a weed block before? What do you think?

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(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest)

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