Hey yall, I hate to be redundant but there were so many things I thought to do with this post after I published it that I just couldn’t help myself. I took some pics yesterday as I was doing some much needed “weeding” to give you a better idea of how useful newspaper can be. And I remembered a few reasons why its actually good for your dirt. I think SO much better digging around and getting dirty than I do at my desk ya know?

Here’s the Original Post

If you’re new to gardening have no fear. It can be relatively easy with a few simple tips from a lazy farmer like me. First of all, I almost never dig or till. Its true! You can have a great garden without breaking your back. Here’s my secret, NEWSPAPER and lots of it. Simply pick a sunny spot in your yard and mark off your beds. Lots of people like to do 4×4 square beds. Then take a tub of some sort like the size of a litter box and fill it with water. Soak your newspaper in the tub of water and then apply it thickly over your bed space, covering all grass and weeds. Once your bed is completely covered, pile on a 3″ layer of peat moss then a layer of leaves or straw and a second layer of peat moss. You can also layer in grass clippings and compost if you have it. Repeat the layers until you have about 12″ of planting medium. Now you’re ready to plant!

This is the new stuff.

Here’re some photos I took today that illustrate how easy and effective the newspaper technique really is. And it looks great too (I think anyway). Also its worth mentioning that using the wet newspaper to cover the weeds instead of pulling, digging or tilling preserves your soil’s natural ecosystems and prevents root damage to your crops. An interesting fact about weeds is that they use their tenacious taproots to pull trace minerals from deep within the dirt. So when you cover up weeds with newspaper instead of removing them, as the weeds decompose under the newspaper, the important trace minerals are released to replenish your topsoil. I don’t know about you but that just blows my mind! Lastly I will say earth worms love wet newspaper and who doesn’t think that’s a good thing?

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So in these pics, my seeds have already sprouted and grown into large enough plants to be mulched around. In the meantime, while the seedlings were growing like crazy so were the weeds. My answer? You guessed it. NEWSPAPER (and lots of it). The mulch I use is nothing more than wasted hay. Goats are notorious, among those of us who actually know and love them, for being some of the pickiest darn things you’ll ever run across. Around my farm at least half  the hay I feed winds up on the ground and eventually makes its way into the vegetable garden in the form of mulch shown here in my rusty old wheelbarrow. I just love that old thing.

This post is part of Works for Me Wednesdays hosted by We are THAT Family and Simple Lives Thursday. Please hop over and check out all the other great tips or link up and share some tips of your own!

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