Monday, August 30, 2010

Paper in the Garden

In need of more compost?  Have lots of grass clippings but not a lot of brown material?  Here are some ideas for you frugal gardeners out there.

The toilet paper and paper towel rolls that are left when the paper is gone (we called them "doot-de-dooers" when we were kids because you could play them like a trumpet) are great to add to the compost pile.  They break down quickly and they are free.  One less item to send to the landfill.  Most of the paper towels that you use to clean up can be dropped in the compost too!  Just remember not to put anything that would attract rats (meat drippings, etc.), or anything that you would consider toxic - if it's questionable, leave it out.

Newspapers.  Many of us still read a paper copy of the newspaper - a hard habit to give up.  Shred it and dump it in the compost.  Worried about the heavy metals from the ink?  No need - most publishers have changed to soy based inks - completely safe in the compost.  If you are concerned that your local paper might be toxic just give them a call - if they have not changed they will tell you and you can start your own campaign to get them to change.  While on the subject of newspapers - they are also great for bedding in the chicken coop, and a lot less expensive than wood shavings.

Newspaper also works great to keep weeds down in the walkways of your garden.  Just lay out 3-4 layers of newspaper and cover it with grass clippings from your yard for a weedless walkway.  (If you wet down the newspaper before covering with grass it seems to work better and doesn't fly away.)

Remember, Compost Happens - with a little help from you.  If you are not composting start now.  Compost is the best thing you can do for your garden. 

Go get your hands dirty!!


  1. You are invited to comment on all of my articles and tidbits!

  2. Composting is great!!! Our tomatoes love our compost,they are taller than me (5'6"). It's also a great way to get free dirt.

  3. You make me wish I had my own yard again.

  4. Composting is seriously the best way to turn dirt into soil!!


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