Ask a Question forum: Paper layer for weed control

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Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 19, 2018 11:46 AM CST
Would brown paper bags be as effective as newspaper to serve as a weed barrier?
Jacksonville, FL
UK
Starfishmomma
May 19, 2018 12:58 PM CST
Why not? Depending on the bags, they might be better than newspaper that has all sorts of ink chemicals in it. You would still need to apply mulch on the paper to create a thicker barrier, unless you have loads and loads of bags!
Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 19, 2018 5:43 PM CST
Thank you, Starfishmomma. I hope the heavier brown paper will also help to block snails. They are quite a problem in my garden. I don't want to kill them, just dissuade them -- make them want to go elsewhere.

UK
Starfishmomma
May 20, 2018 12:20 PM CST
I read somewhere that a way to keep slugs off the veg was to provide a little pile of vegetation, because, they prefer it to fresh. I can't say where I saw that so you will need to look it up to see if it works at all and if it can work with snails.
Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 20, 2018 2:34 PM CST
Thank you Starfishmomma.
That's an interesting idea - sort of a sacrificial offering!
I was thinking about searching for teflon coated paper to make collars for the plants, assuming teflon would be effective on snail mucus.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter Region: Mid-Atlantic Native Plants and Wildflowers
Keeper of Poultry Region: United States of America Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds
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sallyg
May 20, 2018 3:44 PM CST
I am concerned your paper layer would create shady moist pockets underneath, that may be the opposite of what you want, by giving good snail shelter in the garden. Otherwise, the paper is fine.
Snail/slug bait that uses an iron compound and quite safe for everyone besides the snails
http://www.plantea.com/slug-ba...
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 20, 2018 5:40 PM CST
Thank you Sally - that's an excellent point.

I'll do a test area using transparent plastic - it won't create shade but will help the soil retain some moisture.
If I put a soaker hose under the plastic I won't need to water the plants from above.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 20, 2018 6:00 PM CST
If you put a soaker hose under clear plastic you'll be watering the plants with very hot water, even if they don't cook under the plastic in any case.

Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 20, 2018 7:36 PM CST
Good point, Sooby.
If anyone has suggestions for what might work please let me know.
UK
Starfishmomma
May 21, 2018 9:27 AM CST
I've seen disposable plastic or polystyrene plates used as collars around strawberries. The plate was cut from the edge to the middle and a circle cut out. I think they were just to keep the strawberries off the soil. You could try the same method to put slugs and snails off by applying glue and sprinkling sand or something else they won't like to slime across.
Name: Andrea Reagan
Astatula, Florida (Zone 9a)
I collect seeds
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Kevalsha
May 21, 2018 11:33 AM CST
I use crushed egg shells because slugs and snails do not like the sharp crushed shells.
Kevalsha
Jacksonville, FL
Gadsden
May 21, 2018 1:57 PM CST
starfishmomma -
That is a good idea. I'll try using the plate and coating it with Vaseline (petroleum jelly).

Kevalsha- thank you for your idea but crushed eggshells didn't bother the snails here. They are very tough.

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