First Fruits and My Critter Remedy


Our first tomato is growing, and I am so excited about it.  Like a kid in a candy store I watch and wait as my garden grows.  I’m loving every minute of gardening!

You all gave me such fabulous tips recently on what to do for pests, and I have tried a good bit of them.  But none of them have worked as well as this:


My goodness it looks so tacky, but it works!  Newspaper or brown paper bags, and then grass clippings on top of that.  Keeps the bugs away like a charm!  I first got the idea from @CraftyMamaof4 on Twitter.  Then 1-2 people mentioned it to me later, including my husband who’s grandparents have gardened for many years.  They use brown paper bags and it keeps all the little bugs away.   So here is my work in progress.  I don’t have everything covered yet, because there are still a few things that need to pop up.

I’ve be doing this for a few days now, and so far my plants haven’t been eaten anymore.  My only problem with this method is the ink from the newspaper.  No one seems to have mentioned it to me yet, but I worry about the chemicals seaping into the ground and ultimately my plants.  But newspaper seems to be a common method for lasagne layering and for keeping the bugs at bay.  What is your take on it?  I’d love to hear!

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  1. Oh, thank you for posting this! We are starting to see a lot of bugs in our garden and after going to the local hardware store and being disgusted by the chemicals- I knew I had to find a greener solution.

    You know, I actually told me husband that I bet The Thrifty Mama would have a solution! I was going to email you this morning – so thank you again for the post and we will definitely be trying this in our garden as well. :)

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  2. I’m using newspaper and grass clippings to try to keep crabgrass out of the garden. It will be an extra bonus if it keeps the bugs away too!

  3. Perhaps not super thrifty (not sure if they charge or not) but you can often ask newspaper companies for their end rolls, those are ink free to the best of my knowledge but still the “correct” type of paper.

  4. I have used newspapers for several year to keep away the weeds. I put down a good layer of newspaper, I just use the black and white, not color. I read some where that the color is not to be used because of the dyes.
    After I put down my newspaper, I add a layer of mulch. We have a saw mill close by, and they will sell you a truck load of pine mulch for $10.00. I have also used pecan hulls. Works great.

  5. I don’t know that much about gardening. I am working on my first veggie garden this year. I did hear that if you plant one marigold between each plant it will keep the bugs away. I am going to try this.

  6. I am pretty sure that most newspapers use soy based inks, you should be fine, but might want to check with your newspaper’s office just to be sure.

  7. Yup, the black ink is soy-based which not only is safe for your garden but actually helps fertilize it. Like SHARON said above, put down a layer of newspaper and cover it with mulch or grass clippings. It will keep the weeds away and will eventually breakdown to help fertilize your garden.

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