Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

shredded paper for mulch

Posted by shawnalis 7 Dallas TX (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 24, 09 at 17:38

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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


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.

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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.

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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.

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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.

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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.

RE: shredded paper for mulch

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.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here