Newspapers for Weed Block

How would you like no major weeding of your flower bed for an entire season? Sound too good to be true?

I thought the same thing, but so far-so good. (of course it’s only been about a month…but my flower bed can grow some pretty nasty weeds in less than a week.)

Am I an expert gardener? NOT AT ALL!!
Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have beautiful flower beds, I just don’t like all the time and effort it takes. (Plus I think my thumb is more black than green. Most plants I buy end up dead by the end of the season.)

So, here is the little experiment I started in my one “established” flower bed. (by established I mean the plants that are in it have survived a couple of years with me not doing too much)

Already started before I thought to take a pic.
Before. (Already started before I thought to take a pic.)

From the “Before” picture, you can tell it was in pretty rough shape, FULL of weeds. (I think there were more weeds in it than there was plants.) This initially does take a lot of work and effort…but hopefully, there will be VERY little effort for the rest of the season.

So I dug and hoed all the weeds out of the flower bed. (Doesn’t look too bad huh?) lol

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Then it took me a while to work up the energy and to acquire the things I needed to finish this experiment. You will need LOTS of old newspapers that you aren’t planning on reading or needing every again. (I needed some more soil to level out my garden) And you’ll need some mulch. (I bought some “NO FLOAT” Cypress mulch. So far it has done EXACTLY what it claims. NONE of it has moved or tried to float out of our garden, and we’ve had A LOT of rain in the past month.)

On with the experiment…once you have all your flowers/plants planted where you want them in the flower bed, take 8 pages of newspaper, (8 pages is the thickness you want) and lay them down over the soil where you have NO plants growing and where you don’t want weeds to grow. (You may have to put bricks or rocks on them to keep them from blowing away as you do this) Keep laying 8 page thickness of newspaper down, until you’ve covered ALL exposed soil. (Try to fit it as close to your plants as possible, you want no soil exposed. Otherwise those pesky weeds will find that one little spot and poke up through.) You may need to do some cutting or folding of the newspapers to get them to fit perfectly. Make sure each one is butted-up or overlapping the last one.

Once they are all positioned, take your hose and water them all very well. (This will keep them from moving around in the wind and you can now take the brick or rocks off that were holding them in place)

After all the newspaper is nice and wet, start spreading out your mulch, right over the newspaper. About an inch deep, enough to hide the ugly newspapers that are underneath. Once it is all covered, you’re FINISHED!!!

ALL FINISHED!!
ALL FINISHED!!

This won’t be COMPLETELY weed free, whatever seeds blow into the mulch will sprout up, but they should be VERY simple to pull out because they won’t be able to root themselves into the soil. The mulch and newspaper should also help keep moisture in the ground for your plants. (If you have pain in the you-know-what moles, like I do, this unfortunately doesn’t keep them away. Hopefully they won’t dig up through the newspaper too much and it will be able to keep the weeds away all season)

Hope this works as well for you, as it has for me so far. (Anything to help stay out of the heat and away from the hoe!) 😉

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