At Last: A Use For the New York Times in Print

At a media summit in London on Wednesday, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger predicted the Times will eventually go out of print (and become a wholly online publication). But Times Home section contributor Anne Raver has uncovered a possible alternative use for the dead tree version of the paper.

Under the hopeful headline: "Read First, Then Use to Kill Weeds," Raver made the case for using the Times, with compost, to kill garden weeds, as demonstrated in a photo by Rob Cardillo.

"I knew I was saving those newspapers for a reason," I said to Rock, as he rolled a cartful from the barn. (We have enough newspapers stacked in there to blanket the turf at the Augusta National Golf Club.)

I started laying down the newspaper, four sheets thick, as Rock went off to dig some compost - rotted leaves from one pile, aged manure from another - and mixed it together in a wheelbarrow.

I used the garden hose to wet the newspapers, to keep them from blowing away. But also because wet newspapers will decay faster, and roots from young plants will be able to grow right through to the soil below.

Clay Waters is director of Times Watch. You can follow him on Twitter.