This method to Get Rid of Weeds in your Garden without Chemicals will require time and lots of newspaper.
The weeds should be roughly pulled. If you are getting rid of grass, mow it very short.
Four to eight layers of newspapers are placed down (the newspaper tends to break down faster in damp, shady areas so use eight layers).
Shovel soil, compost and or mulch over top.
The newspaper will block the light so the plants underneath it cannot grow. Also, the newspapers will break down over time.
I used newspaper to rid my boulevard of grass 16 years ago.
A local farmer delivered a load of manure mixed with wood chips. This mixture sat all winter and I planted in the spring.
Be sure to check your local by-laws in your area. We cannot grow anything over 3 feet or within 12 inches of the sidewalk.
I’ve had complaints over the last 3 years and have had to trim the plants to the required height.
It was a shame to remove most of the flower heads. Last year I gave away many of the purple cone flower plants and replaced them with shorter yarrow, lavender, thyme and sedum.
In spring and winter, some people have walked through the garden from the road to the mailbox.
We keep our driveway and sidewalk well shoveled in winter to encourage people not to walk through the garden as this will damage and kill the plants under the snow.
I placed pruned branches to discourage this.
In warmer months, I sprinkle ground cayenne pepper on the plants along the edges to discourage dogs from using the garden as a toilet.
I want to emphasize that this will not harm dogs; they will smell the pepper before they get close and avoid the area.
The cayenne pepper must be re-applied after every rain fall.
Lots of newspapers
Soil, compost and/or mulch
Weeding tool and brown bags/green bin
Rocks or other items to weigh down the newspapers if you are working on a breezy day
- This photo shows a garden invested with weeds. I roughly pulled out the tall weeds so that the newspapers will lie flat.
- I placed newspaper sections (about 6 sheets) in an overlapped pattern close to the plant stems. Any gaps will allow light to reach the weeds and they will start to grow.
- Compost was applied overtop.
- Mulch was added.
This method is useful for an existing garden that is weed infested. If you are starting a new garden, add as much compost as you can especially if the soil is poor. Good soil is essential. However, if creating a garden in a yard, do not change the slope of the land because this may direct water towards your house foundation.
Choose a calm day. A light breeze may blow your newspaper away. I used rocks to weigh down the newspapers and moved them as needed. I tried spraying the newspapers with water, which also worked. However, the newspaper will tear if stepped on. The weeds/grass will have an opening to grow through.
Be sure to overlap the newspapers to prevent gaps.
If you want to plant right away, move mulch aside, cut an X shape in the newspaper and peel it back. Once the plant is placed, tuck the newspaper around but not touching the new plant.