Asked April 8, 2016, 10:56 PM EDT

Using newspaper under 3in of grass clippings. I see this used to control weeds in your rows in the garden. However, they also state that the ink in the paper is toxic. Is this something you would advise doing or not doing? Have also been told that using old brown pine needles as a mulch in a garden will not harm the plants? Do you have an opinion? We used them on our onions last yr & did not seem to bother.

Becker County Minnesota

1 Response

Hi, Newspaper ink was initially all based on petro-chemical substances and over the last 30 years, printers have moved towards more vegetable based inks, with soy being the most common ingredient. So it is fine to use newsprint as mulch. Pine needles also make good mulch. Take care not to burry the base of the plants in mulch.