I've just read an article online that says you can lay a layer of newspaper on the earth before covering with a mulch. This prevents weed invasion (to a degree) and also helps to retain moisture to the plant. Has anyone else tried this - or does anyone think this is a worthwhile effort - especially as there is an imposed water hose ban here in the south.
I imagine it would be a bit like using the membrane I have on one or two of my borders. My problem is that after a few years creeping buttercup and ivy will find it's way through somehow and I now have a devil's own job of dragging the reluctant and infested membrane off the beds. I shalln't go back to using a membrane again, probably as I am now retired and have more time to spend keeping the borders up straight.
Thanks for you input Paul. I envy you for being able to spend more time in the garden due to retirement..!!
The best use for the newspapers Dizzilexia is to tear them up and add them your compost, they will rot down with the greenwaste and then spread that as a mulch around the plants. With what I call golden medication for plants I find it best to put a couple of spades full just round the plant roots and not waste it spreading the border, A long handled Dutch hoe is much better than mulch for weed suppressant even if you just manage to do that once a week. being retired my first job of a morning is to get the hoe out and wander round chopping the little "Ahems" heads of and it also breaks up the soil. As with all things do not add too much paper or cardboard and mix it well.
The newspaper thing sounds like a good idea to me.
I'm going to give this a go on my strawberry bed. Thanks!
I used newspaper in my front garden before I covered it with gravel and it worked very well for me.
Hoeing is great if you have plenty of space between rows/plants but this year, because I have downsized from a full size to half size allotment plot, I am planting in blocks and staggered rows to maximise yields. This means fiddly hand weeding or planting through some sort of membrane. Newspaper seems like an economical option and I think I'll be giving it a try. I've already planted broad beans, strawberries and fruit bushes through black permeable weed control fabric.
Many thanks for your info Frank - also to you other guys too for your useful input.
Having had the recent downpours here in Essex there's still no sign of the hosepipe ban being lifted just yet so using the free news papers that regularly drop through my door each week seems like a good option - along with the 6 full water butts staggered around my garden (one of which was supplied by the waterboard for free in a water saving campaign they were running last year)..!!
I crush cardboard egg boxes up and add them to my compost - never thought to add newspaper though until Frank mentioned it. A senior moment I think they call it..!!
Also the stuff from your vacuum cleaner,