As the weather was so lovely over the weekend we decided to do some garden maintenance in preparation for the hot, dry summer. In our front garden we planted little mixed beds of herbs, succulents and some drought tolerant native plants - we learnt pretty quickly that not much else survives those 40C days in summer!!
On the exposed soil areas around the garden beds we used a cheap, recycled and very effective form of mulch - old newspapers! Not only does the newspaper break down to form a protective layer of mulch but it also helps to vastly reduce those pesky weeds (gotta love that!)
Working in small sections first we soaked wads of newspaper in water (collected from the rinse cycle from the washing) before laying directly on the soil, we then covered this with a weed mat before topping with decorative stones. This will hopefully help to retain moisture, keep the soil temperature more consistent (insulating against cold and heat) and protect the soil from baking in the heat of the sun. I can also recomend following this with a nice cool refreshing beer :-)