Newspaper for weed control - Knowledgebase Question

Fairfield, Ne
Question by vette184
April 11, 2010
Are newspapers an effective way to stop weeds from growing in my vegetable garden? I had planned on using newspapers and covering them with one of those thin, clear sheets to keep the weeds from taking over.

Answer from NGA
April 11, 2010


A thick layer of newspaper, cardboard, compost or straw will help keep weed seeds from germinating. Clear plastic is not a good weed control product from a soil-health standpoint. While plastic will keep weeds from sprouting it will also eliminate fresh air exchange and water penetration - healthy soil needs both. If you have a real weed problem, try using a weed barrier landscape fabric over the entire bed, and cutting holes or slits to accommodate the plants. The weed barrier has tiny holes in it which allows water to penetrate and air to move within the soil. Or, simply place a thick layer of newspapers over the bare soil to keep weeds from overtaking the garden. Skip the plastic, though.

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