Newspapers -- Mulch
Newspapers and grocery store tabloids can be used as a mulch in the garden. Four or five (4 or 5) layers of paper can be laid around plants and anchored down with a shovelful of soil or rocks/bricks/stones on the corner.
The paper will decompose throughout the season. Additional layers may need to be added to prevent weeds from emerging. Avoid walking on the paper, especially after a rain or soaking. Wet-to-dry paper becomes brittle and tears easily.
Shredded newspaper can also be used. Apply the shredded paper in three to four (3 to 4) inch depths.
Newsprint with colored pictures can be used with little problems.
AVOID glossy colored paper inserts, colored Sunday comics, or sections with heavy colored printing. Chemicals and heavy metals such as lead and cadmium used in the colored printing process can leach into the soil and may cause toxic problems with plants or their uptake.
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