Daily gardening tips: Use newspaper under mulch to suppress weeds

Weeds can be a persistent problem for any gardener

Daily gardening tips: Use newspaper under mulch to suppress weeds

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Weeds can be a persistent problem for any gardener. While using mulch helps retain moisture and control weeds, incorporating newspapers under the mulch can provide an additional layer of weed suppression. The newspaper acts as a barrier that prevents sunlight from reaching weed seeds, inhibiting their growth. This gardening tip is budget-friendly, environmentally sustainable, and effective in maintaining a weed-free garden. Read on to learn how to utilize newspaper under mulch to suppress weeds effectively.

What You'll Need

  • Newspapers
  • Garden mulch (such as wood chips, straw, or shredded leaves)
  • Garden hose or watering can

Steps to Follow

  1. Prepare the area: Remove any existing large weeds or debris from the garden bed.
  2. Water the soil: Before laying the newspaper, water the soil thoroughly to ensure it is moist. This step will help the mulch retain moisture and keep the soil healthy.
  3. Layer the newspapers: Lay a thick layer of newspapers (around 6-8 sheets) over the weedy areas, ensuring complete coverage. Overlap the edges to limit weed growth effectively.
  4. Wet the newspapers: Lightly wet the newspapers with a garden hose or watering can. This step prevents the wind from blowing them away and helps anchor them in place.
  5. Apply the mulch: Spread a layer of mulch over the wet newspapers, ensuring a thickness of at least 2-3 inches. The mulch will further secure the newspapers and improve weed control.
  6. Repeat for new areas: If you have additional sections of your garden that need weed suppression, repeat steps 2-5 in those areas.

Benefits of Using Newspaper Under Mulch

Using newspaper under mulch offers several advantages:

  • Weed suppression: The newspaper acts as a barrier that blocks sunlight, preventing new weeds from sprouting.
  • Moisture retention: The newspaper and mulch combination helps the soil retain moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering.
  • Improvement of soil structure: Over time, the newspaper decomposes, adding organic matter to the soil and promoting healthier plant growth.
  • Cost-effective: Newspapers are generally readily available and affordable, making this method a budget-friendly option for weed control.
  • Sustainable: Reusing newspapers for gardening purposes is an eco-friendly alternative to chemical herbicides or synthetic weed barriers.


While using newspaper under mulch is a highly effective method for weed control, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Avoid using colored or glossy pages: Stick to non-colored, black and white newspapers as colored and glossy pages may contain potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Monitor moisture levels: Check the soil moisture occasionally and water as needed. Ensure you strike a balance between moisture retention and preventing excessive dampness.
  • Regular mulch maintenance: Over time, the mulch may break down, and new weeds may try to sprout. Check and replenish the mulch layer annually or as required.


By using newspaper under mulch, gardeners can effectively suppress weeds and create a healthier, more low-maintenance garden space. This simple, inexpensive, and eco-friendly method helps reduce weed competition, conserve moisture, and enhance soil health. Next time you're working in the garden, give this gardening tip a try. Your plants will thank you!

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Daily gardening tips: day 144

Use cardboard or newspaper under mulch to suppress weeds