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What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

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What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch? Empty What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  NHGardener on 3/5/2011, 11:53 am

The thought of using newspaper for sheet composting is not appealing because of the ink.

Yet even the cardboard boxing has ink on it. Not as much as newspaper tho.

What are the thoughts about how ink affects soil quality when it's used as sheet mulching?
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Post  camprn on 3/5/2011, 1:01 pm

Nearly all the ink used for newsprint is soy based. I use newspapers in the yard & garden a lot. I do not use the glossy ads. Cardboard that is not coated is perfectly usable in the yard & garden & compost.
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Post  NHGardener on 3/5/2011, 1:34 pm

Thank you camprn! I was always under the impression that newspaper ink contained something toxic. That makes me feel better.
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Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2011, 4:17 pm

I also make sure the newspaper has aged at least 2 weeks before I use it.
Its what I was taught some years back and I can't break the habit.
Better safe than sorry is my creed.
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Post  Lillyz on 3/21/2013, 7:11 pm

camprn wrote:Nearly all the ink used for newsprint is soy based. I use newspapers in the yard & garden a lot. I do not use the glossy ads. Cardboard that is not coated is perfectly usable in the yard & garden & compost.

I have alot of cardboard. I also have a lot of dry stuff for the compost bin right now. Should I save the cardboard to use under the mulch? or should I cut it up and throw it in the compost bin? Also I have paper that Ive shredded. Should I put that in the compost bin now?

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Post  jazzycat on 3/21/2013, 9:38 pm

I have a lot of cardboard laying around that I was going to use when I thought I would be moving last year. I've heard of using it in the garden, so I was going to put underneath my beds that I'm building and then put weed fabric over that. (Is that even necessary?) I also have a ton of shredded paper (from shredding bills and junk mail, etc). Can that be used for something? Maybe I should get a worm bin... Can you use cardboard as mulch?
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Post  RoOsTeR on 3/21/2013, 9:44 pm

You can use cardboard as weed barrier. I would not suggest using it for mulch.

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Post  jimmy cee on 3/21/2013, 10:33 pm

I recently read an article in our local paper regarding newspaper and cardboard in gardens and compost piles.
News papers now use a water based ink.. I use it as a mulch and also in my compost piles.
I do not use the colored printing at all, glossy and inserts.

Today I found I am able to shred my cardboard in our paper shredder, it does a fine job, will add it to compost pile....I don't hog the shredder when doing cardboard, I try to keep the pieces about 1/3rd the length of the cutters.
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Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 11:48 am

jazzycat wrote:I have a lot of cardboard laying around that I was going to use when I thought I would be moving last year. I've heard of using it in the garden, so I was going to put underneath my beds that I'm building and then put weed fabric over that. (Is that even necessary?) I also have a ton of shredded paper (from shredding bills and junk mail, etc). Can that be used for something? Maybe I should get a worm bin... Can you use cardboard as mulch?

I have no use for carboard in or as path way so all mine gets dampened , left in a pile for a while then torn into 3 inch lumps and put in the compost heap a bit at a time so there is never a big wadge of it in any one place .. it works well, the muck worms use it like a hotel laying in the corrugations .
The shredded paper we make is the 3/4 inc x 1/4 inch cross cut size . This too has to be sprinkled lightly over the top of the compost and mixed in . Do it thickly and you'll discover clumps of soggy paper mache when you start turning the heap just like I did.

I also use the shredded paper to light our chiminera . There is plenty of heat in it to get 3 inch lumps of some dried out torn cardboard going , then I just add a few chopped sticks , once there is a bed of burning sticks I put the logs on.

I use the resultant wood ashes as an acid lowering dressing on our mother earth based gardens as they are all thick sticky blue coal mine clay full of acidic sulphur with added acidic straw based manures in them .
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Post  llama momma on 3/22/2013, 11:58 am

jimmy cee wrote:I recently read an article in our local paper regarding newspaper and cardboard in gardens and compost piles.
News papers now use a water based ink.. I use it as a mulch and also in my compost piles.
I do not use the colored printing at all, glossy and inserts.

Today I found I am able to shred my cardboard in our paper shredder, it does a fine job, will add it to compost pile....I don't hog the shredder when doing cardboard, I try to keep the pieces about 1/3rd the length of the cutters.
You can save your shredder blades by wetting the cardboard in a bucket, wheel barrow, sink, etc., wet it for just a few minutes and it tears very easily. I wet it to use as soft bedding for worms or use it dry to help soak up excess moisture in the worm bins. Also toss pieces into the compost heap wet or dry as needed.
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Post  Pollinator on 3/22/2013, 7:58 pm

NHGardener wrote:The thought of using newspaper for sheet composting is not appealing because of the ink.

Yet even the cardboard boxing has ink on it. Not as much as newspaper tho.

What are the thoughts about how ink affects soil quality when it's used as sheet mulching?

Black and white is OK - as others have noted. It's based on soybean oil and lampblack. But don't use colored inks, which likely have heavy metals in them. This is toxic.
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Post  jazzycat on 3/22/2013, 8:02 pm

YAY! So now I can just toss that shredded paper in. I was worried about the ink. But I have a couple of large trash bags full of shredded paper in one of the closets.

So what about cardboard that has color on it, like boxes from the liquor store? Are those OK to use?
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Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 8:02 pm

I thought the use of heavy metal inks was a legislated thing of the past some five years ago in most countries of the world .
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Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 8:07 pm

jazzycat wrote:YAY! So now I can just toss that shredded paper in. I was worried about the ink. But I have a couple of large trash bags full of shredded paper in one of the closets.

So what about cardboard that has color on it, like boxes from the liquor store? Are those OK to use?

My thoughts are yes now adays it's OK to use . The use of plastics and heavy metals in print on boxwes has drastically reduced especially in the eco conscious recycling USA , CANADA & EUROPE .

Why not email the company and ask them about their packaging and tell them why you're asking .. most big companies have reams and reams of compliance legislation & rules that they are happy to say they comply with .
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Post  jimmy cee on 3/22/2013, 10:25 pm

A call to your local newspaper office asking what type of ink they use should confirm this.
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Post  camprn on 3/23/2013, 7:32 am

To reiterate my previous post, most B & W news print uses soy based inks these days. I will sometimes throw it into the compost pile or use it as a weed barrier material in pathways. Same with corrugated cardboard, which typically uses a starch adhesive. I do take any plastic tape off before using it outside.
I always steer clear of any glossy inks. Those go to recycling.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2013, 7:56 am

camprn wrote:To reiterate my previous post, most B & W news print uses soy based inks these days. I will sometimes throw it into the compost pile or use it as a weed barrier material in pathways. Same with corrugated cardboard, which typically uses a starch adhesive. I do take any plastic tape off before using it outside.
I always steer clear of any glossy inks. Those go to recycling.

+1

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Post  trolleydriver on 1/18/2017, 1:14 pm

Bringing back an old thread.

We recycle (through the city pickup) what I think is a lot of cardboard from such things as cereal boxes and other food products, etc..  It is generally thin cardboard with colored printing on one side.

While I use corrugated cardboard as a weed barrier and in my compost, I have never used these other cardboard products in the garden. I'm thinking I could shred the thin cardboard and use it as a mulch or use it in the top layer of soil in Mrs TDs flower gardens. I'm also thinking I could do the same with shredded white office paper.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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Post  RoOsTeR on 1/18/2017, 2:16 pm

trolleydriver wrote:Bringing back an old thread.

We recycle (through the city pickup) what I think is a lot of cardboard from such things as cereal boxes and other food products, etc..  It is generally thin cardboard with colored printing on one side.

While I use corrugated cardboard as a weed barrier and in my compost, I have never used these other cardboard products in the garden. I'm thinking I could shred the thin cardboard and use it as a mulch or use it in the top layer of soil in Mrs TDs flower gardens. I'm also thinking I could do the same with shredded white office paper.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Been there done that! YMMV, but it was one of those things that sounded great, but just turned into a nightmare. Paper dries up, blows around and just makes for mess whether dry or wet.
I got onto a big shredded paper kick a few years back and used it in the garden, in the chicken coops, and in the compost bin. I ended up regretting all of it.
I don't really use any paper products any longer around the farm. I take it in for recycling and let someone else better equipped have their way with it. Was just more hassle than it was worth for me.

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Post  Kelejan on 1/18/2017, 2:47 pm

One of my friends passes on to me the newspapers that she reads.  That started when I began BTE gardening and it has continued ever since.

I get to read articles of interest, even if the news itself is three to five days old.  They have been gathering in piles in my car port but with the arrival of my cat Pal I have found the perfect use for them  Every morning when I do my litter duty I use three sheets of The Province" newspaper to wrap up the previous day's output.  Three sheets is the ideal number.

I must admit that "reading" each paper does not take very long as there is so much advertising and sports news in it that I am not interested in.

When it comes to grocery flyers etc., I pick out the two I need and discard the rest.
I have been here 36 years and some flyers, (most never read) must amount to nearly 2,000 issues each.  They used to go into the garbage but now are recycled these past few years.  What a waste of time, money and resources.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/18/2017, 4:20 pm

Once I get my worm bin up & running, I'm planning on using SOME shredded white paper & thin cardboard, like tp tubes, in there. And I use newspaper as some mulch and in the bottoms of my boxes.

I would avoid shiny paper & colored inks...
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Post  plantoid on 1/18/2017, 6:21 pm

camprn wrote:Nearly all the ink used for newsprint is soy based. I use newspapers in the yard & garden a lot. I do not use the glossy ads. Cardboard that is not coated is perfectly usable in the yard & garden & compost.


 Same here Camp .
 All the  non glossy newspapers are cross cut shredded and sprinkled on tot compost bins  never actually putting in a layer much thicker than 1/2 " thick . this is then agitated into the top of teh bin's contents.. it breaks down in a few days .

 Cardboard , & corrugated board :-  Now the grip on my right hand is permanently  weakened  I've found that giving it a good spray with the hose pipe last thing at night allows it to soften enough for me to tear it up easily . Sealing / packing tape comes off this well damped board very easily

 Plastic covered cardboard  ....the one with a glossy finish  is not so good as it often leaves a sheet of plastic  behind to get rid of separately but wetting it does loosen it .
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/18/2017, 9:23 pm

In my pile is toilet paper and paper towel rolls, some other cardboard, but my town recycles.
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