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Use newspaper beneath mulch to keep the weeds out in your garden - cheap and effective!
Newspaper weeds away! Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet the newspapers and put them in layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover the newspapers with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
Use newspaper to prepare a planting spot. In the fall, mow a patch of lawn to make room for a dedicated bed. Cover it with four layers of newspaper, then a four-inch layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch. Hose it down. Come spring, the compost blanket will have smothered the grass roots, and the bed will be primed for planting. (Im doing this)
Put the newspaper over the dirt 3-4 pages thick and then covered it with mulch. The newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months. By that time, any grass and weed seeds that were present in the soil on planting will be dead. It’s green, it’s cheaper than fabric, and when you decide to remove or redesign the bed later on, you will not have the headache you would with fabric.