weeds still growing through mulch

Weeds still growing through mulch

Use several layers of old newspaper in place of black plastic weed barrier if you want a more environmentally friendly way to reduce weed growth through your mulch. Lay the newspaper down and cover with a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch. You’ll have to replace the newspaper and mulch more often, however, because the newspaper will biodegrade over time. Fabric weed barriers are another option, though they aren’t always as effective as plastic in preventing weeds from growing.

Overlap the strips of black plastic weed barrier so weeds can’t sneak their way through the edges of the material.

Pull up any weeds that are already growing in the area you want to mulch. Use a trowel to help you remove the roots of the weeds, which will decrease how many try to grow back.

Black plastic weed barrier

Things You Will Need

Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch over the entire surface of the black plastic weed barrier. Spread the mulch over the edges of the weed barrier so the black plastic doesn’t show.

Cut small “X” shapes into the weed barrier if you want to plant new plants in the area before laying the mulch. Dig a hole in each “X” shape and place one plant inside each hole.

Rake the area smooth and remove any old mulch, rocks or debris that could poke a hole in your weed barrier.

Warning

Weeds are the enemy of gardeners around the country. These pesky plants decrease the beauty of your yard and rob vital moisture and nutrients from your flowers, vegetables and lawn. Mulch helps minimize weeds but also retains more moisture and helps moderate the temperature of your soil. The trick to keeping weeds from growing through your mulch is to put a layer of weed barrier underneath.

Spread a layer of black plastic weed barrier over the planting area. If you already have plants growing in the area, cut holes in the black plastic to fit over them.

The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy lawns. Both vary depending on your lawn type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need only one or two applications of fertilizer annually—once in fall and sometimes a second time in spring. Southern grasses might require three feedings—early to mid-spring just after the grass greens up, early summer and again in early fall.

As with most types of prevention, discouraging weed seeds from sprouting requires some extra time now so you can save a lot of time later.

Water Grass Infrequently and Deeply

You can also use landscape fabrics to control weeds under decks and in pathways (spread over the excavated soil base before you add gravel or sand). A 3×50-ft. roll of landscape fabric, such as the Typar shown below, costs about $10. The fabric is also available in 36-in. die-cut circles (about $3 each) for installing at the base of trees.

Weed Prevention

Photo by Saxon Holt