2 Soil-Improving Ways To Help Control Weeds In Your Garden

28 February 2017
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


As a gardener, weeds can be a never-ending battle you face every summer. And if you let your garden's weed growth get out of control, the job can seem so daunting that it can be tempting to want to give up for the rest of the season. Here are two materials you can use to help you control and prevent weed growth in your garden and other yard landscaping while improving your soil.


Using newspapers as a weed control method is one that is low or no cost because old newspapers are easy to find. First, soak a stack of newspapers in a bucket or basin of water for a few minutes until they are thoroughly saturated.

Next, spread out the wet newspapers onto the areas of your garden that are void of plants or where weeds are growing. It can be helpful to lay the newspapers several layers thick to prevent the newspapers from tearing apart as you unfold them for spreading and also help your weed barrier be thicker and stronger. Use bricks or heavy rocks to hold down the edges of the newspapers until they dry fully.

As the newspapers dry, they create a hard shell that will remain in place through the year. The newspapers block out the sunlight, oxygen, and moisture to prevent the germination and growth of any weed seeds in your soil. 

At the end of the season, the newspapers will have begun to decompose slightly, so you can till them into the soil or allow them to further decompose over the winter and till them in next spring to add nutrients back to your soil.


Mulch is another material that you can add onto the soil in your garden to help control weeds, as the thick layer of mulch materials prevents sunlight and moisture from reaching weed seeds. There are many different types of mulch material you can use, depending on what you have access to utilize for free or little cost. Some types of materials you can use are shredded dry leaves, chipped wood or bark, lawn clippings, or straw. 

Remember that the larger the size of your mulch pieces will require you to use a thicker layer of mulch. For example, a layer of lawn clipping mulch will not need to be installed as thickly as a layer of wood chips. Lawn clippings can compress together more easily than wood chips, not leaving cracks and crevices within the mulch layer to allow weed seeds and moisture to reach the soil beneath.

Spread the mulch in an even layer over the soil and around your plants. Just as with using newspapers for mulch, this mulch will also decompose over time, add nutrients back into your soil, and help retain moisture within the soil and around your plants.

Use these two materials to help you create a weed barrier that is beneficial for your soil, and talk with home and garden companies for more weed control supplies and techniques.