After a harsh winter where many more or less fragile plants had to face the snow and did not hold up, it’s time to get into gardening and replant beautiful things to green up his exterior. The problem is that gardens face many hazards that weaken those vegetable garden plantings. Cold weather, birds, weeds… can harm fruits and vegetables and other shrubs. Fortunately, newspaper can be very useful to avoid these worries. And the gardener can find uses for it for many other things! Indeed, it is not recycled in a useful way that crumpled into a ball to make the windows! Here are 9 ways to use newspaper in the green spaces of your beloved garden.
1) Newspaper to conserve moisture in the garden
It is possible to cut newspaper to a size suitable for a pot for containers to prevent the loss of moisture too quickly inside by protecting the surface of the soil. It is a kind of mulch instead of wood chips, straw and other branches. You can put three layers to avoid the formation of weeds by letting oxygen and irrigation pass. You can also line a porous pot (e.g. terracotta) to retain moisture, especially in the warmer months of the year. Fold the top of the paper over the soil. You can then hide the paper with decorative moss or mulch. This can also protect your seeds from birds, unwanted slugs, and the cold in the early stages while making them germinate faster in the planters.
2) Newspaper pots for seedlings
For anything from seedlings to seedlings, it can be interesting to create a small makeshift pot out of newspaper. This can be achieved by simple folding, but it is also possible to soak strips of newspaper in water for a full day (one part paper, two parts water) and beat it with a mixer. Remove the excess water and form your future pot in a plastic container before letting it dry for three days.
3) In the compost pile
Compost mucky and smelly? Fix that by making a “Compost Burrito” each time you have something to add to your compost pail. Wrap your vegetable peelings in newspaper and fold like a burrito to add the fiber and dry material your compost pile needs to function properly! (Also keeps your compost pail cleaner)
With heat, compost can release strong ammonia odors due to excess nitrogen and the many food wastes that are strong in odor. Adding newspaper will add carbon to the compost to sweeten the compost. Put it on the ground, run the mower over it and keep the grass clippings-newspaper mixture in a bag. When adding food waste to your compost, you can also wrap it in newspaper directly.
4) In your vermicompost
Shred the paper in a shredder. Add a little water to make it as moist as a wrung-out sponge. The earthworms will feed on it along with nutrient-rich food waste. Feel free to add more regularly to the composter.
5) To kill weeds
To prevent invasive plants from taking over your garden, water your garden deeply and cover with newspaper the areas where there are weeds and empty spaces between your plants (prevention). Water and cover with mulch. Weeds will not take hold and the soil will be richer. It can also be smart to use a few centimeters of wet shredded newspaper in a lasagna garden (i.e. with a multi-layered soil), especially as a layer underneath, as it will act as a mattress that will smother the weeds and prevent them from growing. There is no need to make too many layers that would interfere with water circulation.
6) Newspaper for frost protection in the garden
If you are using cold layers, you may find that they are not enough to protect against low temperatures. You can then use newspaper to further insulate the structure.
7) To keep bulbs tender
Instead of using peat moss to wrap your bulbs, recycle your newspaper for this purpose by not wrapping it too tightly and putting it in a cool, dry place. Your gladiolus and other dahlias will appreciate this solution. You can also individually wrap vegetables picked from your garden… they keep better if they don’t touch each other!
8) A trap for pests
Video capture from the Podgardening YouTube channel
Wet newspaper is very attractive to all the nocturnal pests that will love to hide underneath during the day. At dusk, lay this in garden corners (you can put a small pot on top to keep it from flying away) and collect it in the morning… the little critters will all have clung to it.
9) You can also wipe your garden tools with it after use to prevent them from rusting due to moisture and dirt.
Should you worry about using newspaper in the garden? Is it safe?
There are concerns about the chemicals potentially present in the inks used to print, but most often soybean oil-based inks are used. Since 2001, toxic inks are no longer used in the European community, so even on glossy advertising pages, there should be no concern. In addition, you are recycling and that is good for the planet! However, if this bothers you, there are many ways to recycle old newspapers