Asked March 23, 2019, 11:26 AM EDT

I have been reading that spreading newspapers, with mulch over is great for bettering soil and keeping weeds down. Anything will help as I have an un-tilled weedy, grass yard and am hoping to eventually have a nice vegetable garden. Do you advise spreading newspapers, wetting, and covering with mulch, then planting my tomato or kale in holes I poke in the newspaper?

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Newspapers can add "organic matter" to soil, but the real advantage is to suppress weeds because you are blocking light along with your choice of mulch. I prefer cardboard to newspaper but both work. You don't say the condition of your soil but saying you have weedy, grass yard may indicate some compaction. No-till methods do work, but your challenge will be making sure the vegetables you do plant have adequate water and drainage. I'm assuming you are using transplants (it's really early to be planting tomatoes, but kale transplants are fine) you will need to pull back the mulch and create a hole for the transplant.