Newspaper or Landscape Fabric | 5 Reasons Newspaper Kills Weeds BETTER!


Newspaper or Landscape Fabric?

We’ve shared this tip before – but with the awesome weather, we have had the last couple days it seemed like a good time to mention it again!

My kids helped me weed my flower beds today and I ran up to Lowe’s to get some mulch – but before I lay it down, I’m putting down some newspaper to save myself from weeding anymore this season.

Why Newspaper?  Once you’ve spent hours upon hours hunched over hand-weeding a flower bed – you’re in no hurry to do it again. Here’s a little tip I learned from my mom  (the greenest thumb I know) about keeping out weeds in your flowerbeds….

Layer on the Newspaper!

Newspapering your weeded flower beds is a cheap, easy way to keep our unwanted weeds by denying them light. Here are 5 Ways using Newspaper totally trumps laying down landscaping fabric in your garden:

  1. It’s a great way to recycle old papers.
  2. Newspaper amends the soil, leaving it soft and loose if it is currently hard and rocky. As the cotton fibers in the paper decompose, it makes your soil richer and softer for next year’s planting! This hard clay soil here in Tennessee is a prime example of why I need to newspaper my beds.
  3. Get ready to grow a nice crop of earthworms – because they LOVE the layer where the paper meets the soil. And we all know worms are good for your plants – as well as handy on a fishing trip.
  4. Newspaper is FREE – whereas the black landscaping fabric can get costly.
  5. In fact, the landscaping fabric really is evil stuff. You not only will have weeds start growing through the microscopic holes in the fabric (also, many seeds are airborne and will just land on top anyway) – but it’s nearly impossible to pull them out when their roots are under/enmeshed in the fabric (You literally have to CUT the landscaping fabric off the ground to get the weeds out!)

Are you convinced yet? Then let’s get cracking! You’ll need to weed your beds first and then lie down a thick layer of 8-10 sheets of stacked newspaper. (If you run out, wet cardboard will work as well)  Cover with a thick layer of mulch (about 3″) and you’ll be weed-free for a few years before you need to lie down anymore!

Do you have any tips for keeping weeds out? I’d love to hear them!


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