Save Your Old Newspapers To Help Keep Your Garden In Tip-Top Shape

People put a lot of time, money, and effort into their gardens, whether that means growing prized tomatoes and squashes or creating beautiful landscaping with flowers and shrubs. But nothing spoils the project faster than stubborn weeds. Even if you're diligent with ripping them out as soon as they spring up, keeping up with constant weeds becomes a tiring battle. Rather than always being one step behind, the best thing to do is to stop weeds from growing in the first place, and newspapers can help with that. 

Specifically, your Sunday paper can help get rid of weeds, stopping them and any weed seeds ready to germinate. This is a great alternative to chemical-laden weed sprays, especially if you have pets or kids in the house. It's also more eco-friendly, as you're just recycling harmless paper rather than releasing plant-killing toxins. Plus, it's easy on the wallet — after all, you already enjoyed the paper! Here is how to do it. 

How to do it

Once you have your stack of newspapers, pull out any established weeds. This hack is best for small weeds or weed seeds, since they will be easier to choke out. Once done, deeply water the ground you plan to paper. Once sufficiently watered, cover the ground wherever you see weeds popping up. If you're placing newspaper in a garden bed that hasn't been planted yet, it will be easy. All you'll have to do is paper the ground thoroughly, ensuring sunlight can't reach the weeds or seeds underneath. Depending on how many weeds you have, you may need to add two to three layers.

If you have weeds sprouting around plants, you must cut or rip the paper to size, ensuring you only place it where the weeds are appearing. Make sure to leave a two inch gap around your plants so that they can still get sufficient sunlight. Once you're done covering the area, water the paper so it becomes weighted down. To add another protective layer, top off the paper with mulch to keep it firmly over the weeds.

Since the paper chokes out the sunlight, the weeds won't be able to grow. It also acts much like mulch, since it helps regulate the ground's temperature and lock in moisture. It will also begin to break down after a few days, helping to provide some added nutrients to your garden. It's a hack with many benefits, so it's definitely worth a try!