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Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

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Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  Weedless_ on 7/13/2010, 3:48 pm

We shred a bunch of mail in our house. I was wondering if I could mulch with it. We have tons of that stuff. Anyone tried?
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Re: Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  elliephant on 7/13/2010, 4:32 pm

I'd be concerned that it would blow away.

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Re: Mulching with paper

Post  trustinhart on 7/13/2010, 4:51 pm

Newprint, corrugated boxes, anything that is NOT the slick paper with the 4 color inks. Those inks are not biodegradable & contain some chemicals that you would not want around your plants or kids. You can recycle that kind of stuff at your local recycling post. Shredded paper products compost well and will stay in the bed with a moisture added. Good recycling
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Re: Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  Weedless_ on 7/13/2010, 5:01 pm

@trustinhart wrote:... anything that is NOT the slick paper with the 4 color inks ...
What would be an example of "slick" paper? Regular A4 office paper for laser printers? Or more like a brochure type glossy? What about bills?
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Slick paper

Post  trustinhart on 7/13/2010, 5:11 pm

"SlicK" paper is the type used for magazines usually. The colored inserts in the Sunday paper can be either type. The non-slick paper usually has a ragged edge and hole poked in them. Most bills are ok because the slick 4-color paper is usually too expensive for municipal mail outs. Laser printer ink is ok. Regular A4 office paper is currenly used by those big shredder companies like "Stone Mountain" for composting and recycling in paper products such as shopping bags etc. Hope this helps.
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Re: Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  quiltbea on 7/14/2010, 12:30 am

Newspaper works well as a living mulch but wet it down so it doesn't blow away and then cover it here and there with some soil or dried grass mulch for added staying power. It will eventually break down into the soil.

I put it around my tomatoes so that water doesn't splash up and the wet soil hit the leaves, possibly contributing to blight. I take at least 4 sheets of the small newspapers or half a sheet width of the large ones and fold it in quarters and cut out the center for the plant's stem. Then I cut a slit along one side from outside edge to center hole so I can fit it easily around the plant.

Don't use newspaper mulch until the soil heats up first.
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Re: Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  silverbug on 7/14/2010, 6:59 am

I wouldn't put it in my garden only because I'm weird and it wouldn't look the way I wanted it to, however, we did put our shredder paper in the composter and initially I was frustrated with my husband cuz it was a LOT of paper and it nearly filled the bin...well, low and behold, I'd say in less than a month that stuff was GONE. Now, I don't even have a full 1/4 of my bin filled with lush compost and composting "stuff" on top of it. That paper is amazing!!! The only thing that isn't going fast in my composter is the Sun Chips bag I put in to test their compostable bag...it is however being degraded in large pieces. Anyway, that's me on shredded paper for compost. Happy mulching. Shutting up now.

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Re: Safe and secure? Mulching with paper?

Post  1chichi on 7/14/2010, 9:46 am

I used sheets of newspaper to mulch in my front yard beds. Then covered it w/ shredded bark mulch. It's great to keep the weeds down. I wish I had layered it 4 layers thick or more.
I only used 2 layers, and now it's starting to break down.
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