How To Mulch And Make A Weed Barrier With Recycled Items

You know springtime is just around the corner when the ground begins to thaw and the temperature warms up. This also means you need to start planning for which new garden plants and flowers you want in your yard. This year you can make an easy garden mulch and weed barrier with old carpeting and shredded paper. These two common household items make surprisingly good landscaping supplies.

Old Carpeting As A Weed Barrier

If you are doing any home remodeling and are going to be pulling out old carpeting or rugs, save it to use in your garden. You can also check at a local carpet outlet to see if they have any discarded remnants they no longer need. Ask around with friends and neighbors to collect any of their old carpeting as well. Then, when the weather is nice, you can spend the day laying down your weed barriers in your flower beds. This carpeting weed barrier works great when you want to create maintenance-free rock landscaping in your flower beds. Or, you can use it to keep down weeds around any flowerbed vegetation.

First, if you have any old mulch in your flower beds, dig it out with about an inch of the soil to give you a smooth soil surface. Lay down sections of the carpeting, overlapping them approximately one inch with one another. Cut a 5 to 8-inch hole from the carpeting in places you want to plant new plants. 

When you have completely covered the flowerbed with carpeting, spread the remaining dirt over the carpeting. Then add new mulch to its surface and plant your new plants.

If any weeds manage to grow in the shallow layer of dirt over the carpeting, it is easy to pull them from the soil.

Shredded Paper As Mulch

As you get junk mail and collect paper trash from your home, put it through your paper shredder and save it in garbage bags. Instead of tossing it in with your garbage, this shredded paper can be used as a mulch for your garden.

The best types of paper to shred and use as a garden mulch are non-glossy papers. If you mix this type of paper in your garden, it won't break down as it should to add any nutrients into your garden. Newspaper is a good option for shredding with other types of printed-on paper. The inks used today are made of soy and other harmless products. One study found paper has less toxic material than straw or grass clippings.

It is best to spread the paper shreds through your garden in the fall with some leaves, then till both into the soil. Over the winter and when spring arrives, the paper will begin to compost, adding nutrients to the soil. Be sure the carbon to nitrogen ratio is 25:1 for your compost. In this case the paper is a carbon and the leaves or other vegetation clippings are the nitrogen.

Shredded Paper As A Weed Barrier

Using shredded paper as a weed barrier in your garden can help keep down your garden weeds, conserve moisture in the soil, and keep your produce clean. When your garden plants have grown to at least five inches tall, pull any emerging weeds and spread a layer of shredded paper down around your plants. Leave 4 to 5 inches of space around your plants to let water get to their roots.

To get the most weed barrier power, you will need to spread down 4 to 5 inches of shredded paper. You can add this all at once or over time, building up the weed barrier's depth. Once the paper becomes wet and dries, it creates a hard crust over your soil. This keeps out the sunlight, moisture, and air, preventing any weed seeds from germinating.

In the fall, till your garden as normal, mixing in the layer of shredded paper.

Use these three ideas to give your landscaping and garden a weed barrier and mulch.