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How to Kill Weeds in Your Garden Using Newspapers

Newspapers are a gardener's greatest green weed suppressor. A thick stack of wet newspapers laid down in a new bed deters weed growth so your plants have a chance to stake their place in the soil. The paper is biodegradable and, according to most garden resources, the soy-based inks — both black and color — contain no toxic chemicals that could harm the soil or plants.

Garden pros do advise you to verify that your daily paper uses soy-based ink rather than a petroleum-based solution. And avoid the glossy color circulars and inserts, which are printed on a different paper stock and may use less Earth-friendly inks.

Many people follow the three Rs — with the emphasis on reducing and reusing before recycling. If you are one of these, you may not subscribe to your local newspaper. Don’t worry, though; there are plenty of ways to get old copies. You can collect them from obliging neighbors, coffee shops, or other local businesses, or even pilfer your supply of daily newsprint from nearby recycling bins.

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