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Newspaper to kill grass and weeds?

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gardenbook photos
Joined: 5/31/2008
Location: South Florida - Zone 9B/10
Posts: 782
Posted: Jun/22/2008 5:48 PM PST

Hi all:

I have read on several organic sites that newspaper can be used on top of grass that has been mowed very short to kill the grass and weeds before cultivating for new gardens. Has anybody used this method? And if so, how did it work?

My husband and I "scalped" a 484 sq ft area of the backyard and then put several layers of newspaper down just today. We're getting some pretty strange looks from the neighbors. I hope it's worth it.
damethod blog photos
Joined: 5/04/2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 637
Posted: Jun/27/2008 6:44 AM PST

I've heard it works well. You use it in place of landscape fabric to prevent weeds and the growth of new grass in the area. You should avoid color pages though..only use black and white.
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jun/27/2008 6:55 AM PST

It should work great if you lay it on thick- you don't want any light to reach the soil. By the end of the summer you should be able to till everything in and have the start of a brand new bed
Your neighbors will stop giving you weird looks when they see the wonderful garden you have there
gardenbook photos
Joined: 5/31/2008
Location: South Florida - Zone 9B/10
Posts: 782
Posted: Jun/27/2008 9:50 AM PST

We had to cover the newspaper with tarps as the papers started blowing away when they dried out. The first day I "watered" the newspapers three times. It looks like it is working so far.

Karen B
witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: Jun/27/2008 1:24 PM PST

Yes, it works well. My friend did it over a terrible area and it worked great. Like they said, put lots and keep it watered. My friend covered hers with pine needles to keep the newspapers damp and in place. She has no grass or weeds there whatsoever. I've also read that the earthworms will be attracted and help to work the soil!
yardgranny6 blog photos
Joined: 7/05/2007
Location:
Posts: 4557
Moderator
Posted: Jun/27/2008 2:52 PM PST

Absolutely it works. I have always put mulch down as I place the thick newspapers. And wetting the newspaper as you go, especially if there is a breeze, works to keep it in place. The only thing that will grow through a good newspaper mulching is 'wild bermuda grass'. They stuff is made of part iron. No wonder some people call it 'wire grass'. LB
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jun/27/2008 3:51 PM PST

Tell me about it YG! That bermuda grass is the WORST!!!!
gardenbook photos
Joined: 5/31/2008
Location: South Florida - Zone 9B/10
Posts: 782
Posted: Jun/27/2008 6:01 PM PST

LOL, builders use Bermuda sod here. When I bought my house it had a Bermuda lawn. It is now St. Augustine because of plugs that I put in. It took years but it worked. I miss the sweet smell of grasses further north.
akgardener
Joined: 7/27/2008
Location: Petersburg, Alaska
Posts: 17
Posted: Jul/29/2008 11:10 AM PST

I've tried this, it works pretty well.
shiukopuppy blog photos
Joined: 7/01/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 66
Posted: Aug/01/2008 5:10 PM PST

Yes - I've also heard that wet newspaper attracts the worms Good luck!
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