Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Garden tip from Tnfarmgirl (THANKS, CHERI)!

After bemoaning the fact that we were in such a hurry to assemble two of our beds this year that we didn't even till the grass before adding the dirt, Tnfarmgirl (Cheri) answered I know what you can do about that. (I immediately thought I don't have time to stand out there and pull out all the grass)! She told me to get old newspapers and fold them to be in a least 4 layers. Wet the newspapers, and place them over the grass in the bed. This was going to kill the grass while becoming a great addition to our bed when tilled into it later in the season. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, but I quickly went to Michael's shop and gathered up enough newspaper to cover the problem bed. Cheri told me this about 3 weeks ago, and all of the grass under the newspaper has turned yellow and died away. My tomato plants are beautiful. Now I am keeping every piece of newspaper that comes my way. She also said to use the newspaper when we are building the beds to help control weeds, and it provides food for the worms!! (imagine that)! After tilling the ground, spread the newspaper over the tilled up ground. Then add the composted dirt and amenities to the bed. Our next beds will be prepared just that way.
grace and peace,


TNfarmgirl said...

Was just thinking about this yesterday and wondering how it turned out for you :) So glad it helped!

Also, when doing a new bed - you don't even have to till it - place at least 8 layers, wet, and then add soil, compost, ammendments on top and plant into that...weed free :)

TnFullQuiver said...

Thats even better news!!! Thanks for the help.

The Bradshaws said...

We have a bed that was prepared but went unused this year, so it is now a jungle begging for some dominion-taking! This method gives me hope that we'll be able to get it under control.

Mary Susan

TnFullQuiver said...

Mary Susan,
I was very skeptical when Cheri told me about this, but I decided it wasn't that big of a deal if it didn't work. Was I ever suprised. I think it will help your "jungle" a lot.

take care,
grace and peace,

Brian H said...

The best use for the newspaper :-)

I used that method to prepare my garden expansion last year. Works great! Late last summer I laid the papers right on the grass and put straw over that for more biomass. No grass can survive that. I also used newspaper sheets as a mulch in the existing garden last year. It took some getting used to - for months you could still read the paper while toiling. They really do just disappear.

Somewhere I read to use only B&W and no color pics. But I doubt that matters now a days since nearly all newspaper inks are soy-based. (Plus once the worms poop it out, I'm sure it's fine. ) Godspeed!

TnFullQuiver said...

brian h,
thanks for sharing about your experience with newspaper. I thought it was amusing that while I was working I too could read the articles. That is truly killing two birds with one stone there! I too was wondering about the color print, but I was running out of paper so I used the color paper too.
grace and peace,