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Newspapers as a Weed Barrier?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've heard that one can use sheets of newspaper between, say dirt and bark chips, to keep weeds from growing up from the dirt through the bark. Does this work? I will be pouring bark chips along the strip of ground between the sidewalk and the street (unless someone has a better idea).

The sun beats on this land so hard that I refuse to spend the energy or water trying to grow anything smaller than trees on those strips. I have removed at least three inches of dirt from the entire strip which is about 3-4 feet wide and 150 feet long. There are trees planted every 25 feet or so.

Oh, one other question. What should I do with the pile of dirt I now have from removing it from the sidewalk strip? The pile is about 3 feet high with a 10 foot diameter.

Does it ever end?...:

post #2 of 6
If you are not growing your veggies there, use newspaper. It will break down eventually and the weeds will grow there eventually but you will eventually have to re-mulch it anyway. Newspapers have ink that may be toxic to eat so I veer on the safe side when using newsprint.

Ohh and the dirt?? Build a raised bed for a new garden for your lovely wife. Cut flowers? Veggies? Herb Garden? Knot Garden? Fairy Garden? The possibilities are endless.
post #3 of 6
I had a nasty weed prone area in one of my front flower beds, so I put down a couple of sheets of newspaper & wet them down before mulching. It worked great.
post #4 of 6
I believe the ink in newspaper is now soy based. I would stay away from the glossy color pages (advertisements and inserts), but the black and white should be okay.

This site talks about newspaper mulch in detail: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

What about cardboard?

Hi and thanks for the suggestions.

As I was walking to work, I paused to watch some folks loading cardboard in a truck for recycling. I wondered if newspapers are good, would cardboard be better?

We live in a dry area so I doubt run-off would be much of an issue. Also, there would be a good 3-5 inches of bark on the cardboard.

Any more thoughts or experiences out there?

Thanks again.
post #6 of 6
Not sure if this is relevant or not, but when we were having to radon test our house in colorado, the guys said not to put the canister on cardboard boxes because they off-gas something that interferes with the test results. I don't know what the gas is, but I'd try to find out before I put it in my garden, just in case it's toxic or something.....
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