Toolbox Tuesday – Newspaper Weed Block

Newspaper Weedblock


In North East Ohio we are in Zone 5 for planting and gardening, so that means that our last frost date is somewhere around Mother’s Day. Which means, around here, Memorial Day weekend people are getting their yards and gardens in shape for the summer. And I was right there with them!

Earlier in the week I had laid 1.5 yards of mulch in the front of the yard and ended here with about 2/3 of my blueberry patch mulched.  My husband got another 1.5 yards of mulch for me on Saturday morning before he headed off to work on a broken, rusty, old truck that needed his tender loving care.


Newspaper Weedblock


I’ve read and heard quite a bit the last couple of years that wet newspaper is great for blocking weeds. I’ve used the regular fabric weedblock and have always been disappointed in its’ performance so I wanted to give wet newspaper a try. Besides, the landscape fabric just isn’t in my budget at this time. You know how that is?

Why not start in this last 1/3 of  the blueberry patch?

I covered the soil in two layers of wet newspaper (each layer is 2-3 sheets thick) and covered it in mulch. Now I’ll have a side by side comparison so I can see if the claims are true for myself and share the information with YOU while I’m at it.

Probably the most “scientific” I’ve ever been in my whole life!



Newspaper Weed Block


I also covered this entire bed which, the day before, had been chock full of weeds, volunteer tree seedlings, ivy and lily of the valley. This area had been planted by Mrs Heller, the previous resident, and over the years the plant roots had become so matted that almost nothing would grow any more. It was time to dig out and start fresh.

I did leave some of the lily of the valley, an arborvitae that is slowly dying because of lack of nutrition, a hosta plant I’d transplanted here last summer and my peony bushes that weren’t doing well in another part of the yard.

I’ll update you in a couple of weeks and let you know how it’s holding up. My hope is that, in this particular, area that we can be rid of some of the mint, ivy and other vines that were taking over this area and keep new weeds from growing up through the mulch.

Wish me luck!

Eventually, I’d like to put in just a small section of privacy fence so I don’t have to look at the neighbors barn and the piles of junk they have all around it and some decorative items. I see this corner of the back yard from the kitchen window and I’d like to have something fun to look at.


Newspaper Weed Block


Do you like my set up? A lawn tractor and wagon for the stuff I dig up and a van with trailer for the mulch to lay down. Old girl knows how to work the yard tools! :)


Newspaper Weed Block


File this under strange gardening finds: A galvanized laundry tub full of rocks buried just under the surface in the crazy-weedy bed. Now what do you suppose THAT is all about?


  1. Tammie E says

    When we lived in the south, I used newspaper under pine-straw mulch, it worked very well. Good Luck with your yard ‘makeover’. :-)

    • says

      Thanks Tammie, I hadn’t seen pine mulch until we were going to FL a couple of weeks ago. I noticed it a lot in the south. My husband says they use it a lot in CA too. I love learning how people do things in different places!
      The place I get my wood mulch uses the sticks and limbs donated by city residents. I love that! :)

  2. Brenda Thacker says

    I put dry newspaper under the landscape cloth then cover with mulch. You need to use several layers of news paper not just one sheet. Not sure why you used it wet? News paper by it’s self can last up to 18 months before completely disintegrating although if you only use one sheet I would think it would last about a week if that long.

    • says

      Brenda, there are two layers of newspaper that are 2-3 sheets thick and landscape cloth isn’t in my budget at the moment so I needed to use what I had on hand. One very simple reason for using wet paper is that on a breezy day it doesn’t blow away before I get the mulch down. I kept putting the paper down and turning around to have it blow away. More than half of the resources I read said to wet the paper so that is what I did.

Leave a Reply