shredded paper for mulch

shawnalisAugust 24, 2009

Can anyone advise me on how to use shredded paper (old bills and junk mail, not newspaper) as a mulch without it blowing away? I'm going to try wetting it thoroughly and see what happens, unless I hear some better methods. Thanks, in advance.

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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

There was a thread on this a while back - I will try to make a link but forgive me if don't get it right!

Here is a link that might be useful: shredded paper as mulch

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:32PM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

oops - that thread was about newspaper - you said NOT newspaper - sorry!

Wetting paper will help, but some will blow away. Try a small area and wet it down, then see what happens. If you have success then you could expand your area of mulching.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:36PM
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Thanks, mustard seeds, for the link. As I read through it, someone talked about using office paper, so it was pertinent! The consensus seems to be that even if it is covered with other mulch it will still have a bit of a fly-away problem.

I'll try it in the back yard and see how bad it is. Thanks for looking that up for me.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:39PM
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My experience has been that it does blow around. Also it can sort of mat together when wet and form clumps. I think it can work if you have a little bit of some other mulch (like pine straw around here) to lay on top of it to hold it in place and also to make it look more natural. I do use it behind a large bed, and in front of a barbed wire fence to make sort of a walkway behind the bed and to keep the weeds/grass suppressed behind that bed. I usually pour the shredded paper and then layer some grass clippings on top of that.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:19PM
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The main problem I have with using paper in this regard is that it's quite obvious when it ends up where it shouldn't. Shredded leaves or grass blend in with the surroundings if they blow somewhere. Paper is quite white, and stands out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:49PM
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I don't have fly away problem because I compost in garbage cans. Two weeks ago I finally brought my packed paper shredder to the backyard for "browns". The office paper clippings were so dry so I dumped everything from the shredder to a bucket of water. Unfortunately right away it formed a big, wet clump that won't break apart. It was not easy to mix the slimy matted stuff with greens. But what do you know, when I turned the compost today, there were barely any whites or clumps left.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 2:14AM
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While shredded paper can be composted quite easily, it does not make a good mulch since when dry it will blow around but when wet it binds together and makes a paper mache like material that might not allow water to penetrate into the soil. Shredded paper just does not make a good mulch.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 7:17AM
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