5 Reasons To Use Newspaper in Your Garden Today - Backyard Boss
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5 Reasons To Use Newspaper in Your Garden Today

The newspaper has numerous benefits for your garden, acting as mulch and fertilizer, which keeps weeds at bay and your plants growing healthy and strong. And whether you’re tired of weeding the flower bed or throwing out old newspapers, it’s the perfect way to care for your garden and the planet.

To get you on your merry way, this list of the 5 reasons to use newspaper in your garden today will break down the benefits of this DIY mulching. We’ll share tips on how to use newspaper in your garden and how it works so you’ll be all set to start turning old news into something new.

Trap Insects and Pests

Caterpillar eating a leaf
Image credits: jcesar2015 via Pixabay

Organic pest control solutions are a common choice since they are both environmentally friendly and usually affordable. Adding newspaper to your garden is another option that is just as quick and efficient. Simply dampen a thick section of the newspaper and lay them around your garden at dusk.

Nocturnal bugs like slugs, earwigs, and pill bugs will find themselves attracted to the damp and dark space, and you’ll be able to remove the newspaper and dispose of the bugs by morning. 

Protect Plants from Frosts

Frosted hemlock plant
Image credits: suju-foto via Pixabay

Every gardener wants to protect their garden from frost, but sometimes it’s no easy feat. Fortunately, newspapers are a great way to stretch the season as they protect the roots of your plants and act as insulation. Layer thick sections of the newspaper (about 10 pages) around your plants, cutting slits for the shoots and layering with mulch.

This also works for the opposite reason: since the newspaper acts as insulation and holds moisture, it will protect your plant’s roots from dry, hot days in the middle of summer!

Stop Weeds From Growing

Weeding garden
Image credits: miskolin via Canva

If you’re like many gardeners who prefer to take the natural route when killing weeds, you may also be interested in stopping them before they start. There are two options when it comes to handling weeds with newspaper.

First, you can flatten the weeds in your garden and lay sheets of newspaper (about 10 pages thick) over them, cutting slits to allow the stems of plants to fit through. Otherwise, you can pull smaller weeds from the ground and lay the newspaper to stop them from returning.

To use your newspaper to kill or stop weeds, it’s important to pair it with other mulching materials such as pine bark, grass clippings, straw, and more. Layer mulching over the newspaper to keep them from blowing away, as well as to add a more aesthetic touch to the yard.

Acts as a Natural Fertilizer

Baby plant being planted
Image credits: schauhi via Pixabay

Once you’ve read the Sunday morning newspaper over brunch, it’s time to fertilize the garden. But here’s the deal: you can kill two birds with one stone, disposing of your newspaper and fertilizing the garden for free. Over time (around 4-6 weeks), the newspaper will break down, adding organic material to the garden and thus softening and enriching the soil.

In the Compost Bin

Shredded newspaper for mulching
Image credits: Hans via Pixabay

Composting has an abundance of benefits, but newspaper makes a great addition to your backyard compost bin. If you have any experience with composting, you likely know two things: one, that adding compost to your garden will help vegetables thrive in the spring, and two, that compost requires organic material to help your garden produce.

As it turns out, organic material tends to be on the more expensive side of things. That’s where the newspaper comes in. Since newspaper breaks down slowly, it’s best to shred or cut it up. Newspaper is also carbon-rich and will help to neutralize the odor.

In Summary

Newspaper is porous and biodegradable, making it an excellent addition to any garden. It also fertilizes the soil, rids your garden of weeds, blocks light to keep roots cool in the summer, adds organic material to the soil, and even saves water since it soaks it up and evenly distributes it throughout your garden. Plus, it’s free and acts as a great way to reuse your old newspapers!

Will you try any of these newspaper garden hacks? Let us know below!

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