Paper bags can be recycled and repurposed in numerous ways, and some of the most advantageous uses can help keep your garden in tip-top condition. Here are a few ways in which your paper can aid your plants.
Include in Composting
Paper bags are relatively thick and highly absorbent, so they make the perfect brown matter for your compost. Dense paper can be shredded into small, narrow pieces, and then mixed in normally, while thinner paper bags can be torn into larger bits and scrunched up into small balls which improve airflow.
The paper will break down eventually, so it makes a great material for composting. However, you will want to make sure that all plastic parts – such as handles – are removed. You should also avoid using bags which use anything other than soy-based inks.
Block out the Weeds
Open up your paper bags so they cover a large area, and then use them to stop weeds from infesting your garden. All you need to do is remove the top layer of soil – working around plants – and then lay sections of paper over the bare ground. You can then cover this layer with a few inches of mulch, compost, or any other organic material.
This will help stop weeds coming through, and it’s a far cheaper solution than using shop-bought weed-blockers. The paper will eventually break down naturally, but give the soil a good tilling during early autumn to help it on its way.
Protection from the Cold
Most garden plants are hardy enough to last out the winter, but freezes have the potential to either damage or kill them. The best – and easiest – way to ensure that a cold snap doesn’t do away with your garden involves simply tying a paper bag around the top of the plant. This acts as insulation, keeping the warm air in and the cold air out.
This is best done overnight. In the morning, be sure to remove the covering. Remember to never use plastic bags to cover a plant, as plastic will damage it.
Next time you’re shopping, ask for paper bags instead of plastic, then use these tips to keep your garden looking great.