raised-bed Using newspaper in and around raised beds

I've built a few raised beds and now need to complete the pathways. I've read some folks put down newspaper and then mulch on top of that, primarily for weed control I guess.

This seems to me it would become a home for bugs! Anyone care to share their methods? (How many layers of newspaper? Is pine bark mulch the best to use?)

Also while searching the forum, I found one fella takes a sheet or two of black and white newspaper and place it around the base of the transplanted peppers and tomatoes. Cover lightly with dirt and mulch over that--prevents weeds around the plant long time.

Good advice? I would worry about creating a habitat for squash bugs (if used near squash) and a megahouse for earwigs... :cool: Whadayathink?
 
I use newspaper as weed control and then put straw mulch over top. I have personally never had a problem but that's not to say it can't happen.
 
I used cedar mulch for a couple of seasons. Then last season I switched to straw. I am going with straw again this season. I have never used newspaper, but if your mulch is thick enough you will have very few weeds(2-3").
 
I originally layed a newspaper on top of the soil, wet it down, then poked a ton of holes in it with a rake. That didn't work so well because when teh paper dried it became very stiff. I took that out and replaced it with strips about 6X1. This has been pretty effective for moisture retention. It is also great for keeping soil temps down. I live where it gets 120 in the summer so that is a must. My Scotches just germinated (a bit late I think) and my Naga Jolokia is living happily in this set up. I did just notice some @#$@#$ing white flies on the Naga this morning but I am not sure how much (if any) impact the newspaper had on it.

Best of luck and keep us updated!
 
I use shredded paper around mine, and it works well, helps with weeds, and I feel like being white it helps reflect more light to the underside of the plant. it doesn't last long though, the earthworms eat it up quick...
 
I just lightly scrape the surface my soil with a flat rock or a hoe to control weeds. It takes about 5 minutes to do my whole raised bed. Pulling each weed one by one takes hours.
 
Thanks for the responses so far. For the pathways, I think I'll go with a newspaper layer and straw on top as RTF mentioned. Like Josh, I've used straw as a general mulch quite a bit before. I was scraping the old paths today there was some pretty good semi-composted straw I was able to throw in the raised beds. Might as well keep that cycle going.

I believe I'll also shred up some paper and add some of that to the mix in the beds since the worms like it!
 
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