Life Stranger in Your Garden
posted by May 21 at 12:59 PMon
A green-thumbed reader wrote in with this question:
As a regular reader of The Stranger, I have a large stack of old issues laying about my house. I also tend a plot in one of the city’s 50+ P-Patch sites. I was wondering, is the paper on which The Stranger is printed and the ink with which it is printed OK for use in organic gardening as sheet mulch? My understanding that I should try to use newspaper that is printed with soy-based ink for this.
Personally, I’m not that picky about this kind of thing (I’d probably grow “nonorganic” vegetables if it was my own backyard), but I don’t want to break the rules, and I want to be able to make a case to our P-Patch minders that newspaper (or yours at least) is an OK mulch.
I talked to the folks over in Distribution and they assured me the paper is printed with soy-based ink. Hooray! However, newsprint has a tendency to clump and harden when it gets wet, so it is best used in areas where you are blocking things from growing altogether. I have had good luck making newsprint barriers on pathways and in garden beds needing a fresh start. Hope this helps and kudos for gardening organically!