One of the most common gardener gripes is the everlasting
duel with pernicious weeds. Fortunately, there is an
easy, green way to take care of these garden thugs—the
answer lies in using newspaper instead of weed fabric.
Many home gardeners are familiar with weed fabric, the
petroleum-based black mat used to discourage weed growth.
All too often, this fabric ends up in tiny shredded
pieces that litter the soil like a thousand candy wrappers.
Newspaper on the other hand, decomposes into food for
soil microbes and earthworms; after all, it’s
just carbon with some soy-based ink!
Sheet mulching involves the following steps:
• Blanketing the soil with newspaper or cardboard,
overlapping the pieces like fish scales.
• Watering the paper so it sticks together.
• Covering this paper mulch with 2-4 inches of
compost or mulch.
This sheet mulching technique typically keeps weeds
at bay for approximately one year, and after that the
paper and mulch decompose to become topsoil.
If you hire blow-and-go gardeners to care for your yard,
there’s a good chance they will blow away valuable
organic matter and they don’t generally add anything
more than harsh chemical fertilizer to your lawn. Not
to fret though–ask your gardener to use a broom
and direct the leaves so they are used as mulch rather
than being trucked to the dump. You can also pickup
a load of compost for the cost of a bag of fertilizer.
Going green with yard care is no longer just a moral
imperative—it is an aesthetic and intelligent
way to ensure that your yard sustains a healthy, natural,
and long-lasting relationship with surrounding ecosystems.
With an open mind and a little creativity, homeowners
can do a great service to the environment and to their
pocketbooks in one fell swoop.
Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care Ideas
Organic Gardening Tips & Ideas
Safe Organic Pesticide Recipes
Friendly ways to deal with Weeds
Environmentally Friendly ways to deal with Outdoor Pests