On Thu, 9 Sep 1999 21:30:31 -0400 "James Shepherd" <email@example.com>
> Can anybody tell me about the possible dangers of using newspapers
>as a way to kill grass where one want's to make a flower/garden bed?
>My girlfriend is trying to do some resarch on the subject for a
>professor at VA. Tech. I was hoping that this would be a good place
> Thanks to any who reply,
I've had great success using newspapers to help turn my former "lawn"
into perennial beds and borders. After using a garden hose to lay out the
outline of the bed, I use a grub axe to remove a 4-inch swath of sod
around the perimeter. I then place a layer of newspaper (3-5 sheets
thick) over the whole bed, from edge to edge, covering it with a 3-inch
layer of mulch as I go. I leave the sod in the middle to break down and
add to the organic matter in the soil. As I want to plant in the bed, I
push back the mulch, dig a hole (I find a shovel cuts through the paper
just fine), amend it as necessary, and plant. Then I replace the mulch
around the plant and water well. It's a quick-and-dirty way to make a lot
of lawn into a planting bed with less time and labor than "doing it
right" would entail. I avoid using paper that is slick or in color; these
days, most black newsprint is printed with soy-based inks. Also, because
these are ornamental beds, I'm not as concerned about plant up-take of
unwanted elements as I would be in my vegetable beds. (Those, by the way,
I still make the old-fashioned way, with a lot of hard work and compost.)
I've found the newspaper to be quite effective in keeping plants of the
former lawn from popping up in the beds.
New Haven, CT
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