Do you have lots of weeds in your garden? And you want to lay mulch to prevent weeds? But don’t know how to do it using the right way. Or you have already laid mulch in your garden, but it’s unable to kill weeds easily. If you have already laid mulch but it’s not preventing weeds you might have done it the wrong way.
Plants in plant beds are so small that they should be taken care of regularly. But weeds around plants create a mess and are also harmful to plant growth. The best practice to lay right mulch over weeds is to clean out already grown weeds and then spread proper nutritious mulch over the plant bed maintaining 2 to 3-inch mulch thickness.
So, the first question that comes to mind is:
Can You Put Mulch Over Weeds?
The short answer to can you mulch over weeds is Yes because putting mulch over weeds suppresses the growth of weeds plants and deprives them of the nutritious needs that they can take up from the environment. Once you place mulch over weeds they cannot take up the air, sunlight, and exchange gases to survive so they eventually die and you get rid of weeds easily by using mulch.
Now the question is how you are going to do that? How to lay mulch over weeds.
Let’s get deep dive into it:
How to Put Mulch Down Over Weeds?
To put down mulch over weeds the material required and the in-depth procedure is given below:
Tools You Need for Laying Mulch Over Weeds
- Gloves – To wear on hands
- Edger – To clean edges of plants bed
- Rake – To clean plants bed
- Wheelbarrow – For transporting mulch in different places of the garden.
Procedure For Laying Mulch Over Weeds
Follow the complete precise guide in order to perfectly lay mulch over weeds to prevent their growth.
1. Selecting the Right Type of Mulch
First of all, you have to figure out which type of mulch to lay over weeds to prevent their growth. If you want to beautify your garden go for inorganic mulch and if you want to add nutritious value to plants then go for organic mulch. Sheet mulching, newspaper mulching, and cardboard mulching are good options to prevent weed growth.
2. Preparing of Plant Bed
Firstly cut a nice fresh edge all around the bed using a tool named edger. While cutting edge around the bed make sure you do not mix grass into the soil which you carry in your edger tool while making edge because this grass gets mixed up in the soil and can create problems later. Collect all the soil you have cut to clean the edges of the bed and through it.
3. Cleaning Any Weeds From the Bed
Follow This if You Already Have Laid Mulch
Now use a rake to clean all the previous mulch if you have spread already and through it. This step is very important in all your laying journey. So make sure you have cleaned beg from mulch and if there are any weeds you do not have removed, remove them all. Use a rake and cleans the bed until you see all the previous mulch removed, and you have seen clean bed soil in order to lay mulch over weeds professionally.
Follow This if You Have Not Laid Mulch Before
If you do not have already laid mulch over weeds, then use the rake to clean the bed and remove any hard soil layers made up on the bed over time. Plus remove weeds if any from the bed. Just keep in mind that your goal is to lay mulch over dirt or in other words on clean soil.
4. Get Rid of Grass and Weeds
Now you need to pull out all weeds or kill them and also grass so the soil becomes smooth and ready to bring mulch in.
To kill grass you can use some good herbicides like round up. Use spray herbicide or weed killer-like preen to your garden so that you can stop weeds seeds from growing. This step will be a plus in laying mulch to prevent weeds.
To get rid of weeds you can also you solarization technique. To make the solarization technique in effect, you can lay down a transparent plastic sheet on the soil and tightly make it stick to the soil from all corners. The concept is to trap sunlight energy and limit airflow inside the plastic. This way weeds won’t be able to grow and die eventually.
Water the bed if there’s not any recent rain.
7. Spreading Mulch Over Weeds for Prevention
Pour mulch over your bed using a wheelbarrow and then spread it all over the bed using your hands and especially around plants. Here you have to take care of how deep you will keep your mulch to get the best results. The best mulch thickness is deciding factor.
If you are using mulch like compost or sawdust then you need to lay mulch will a layer thickness of 2-3 inches.
And if you are laying mulch like wood nuggets or bark you need to lay a mulch thickness of 5-6 inches to get the best results.
Post Mulching Care
Last but not least, is to take care of the mulch you have laid. You may see some grass or weeds growing up. You need to pull them out or use some commercial post-emergent herbicides to kill them. This will keep up the aesthetic look of your laid mulch and sync with its benefits.
DOs of Mulching Over Weeds
- Always clear out weeds before laying mulching over weeds
- Make proper edging and prepare your bed where you are going to lay mulch.
- Use spray control like preen or round up to prevent weeds growth.
- Water a little bit after laying mulch over the soil.
- Always add a fresh layer over mulch.
- Make sure clean any plantation on the soil where you are laying mulch.
DON’Ts of Mulching Over Weeds
- Leave space around the plant stem. This means you should not be laying mulch around the stem of the plant or it will cause”volcano mulching”.
- Don’t lay too many thick layers of weeds over mulch.
- Don’t lay dyed mulch over the soil.
- Don’t let weeds grow after laying mulch after a few weeks.
- Don’t leave weeds that has flowers on them on the ground after you pull them out as they can be a source of weed seeds which are very hard to kill.
- Don’t use poor compost that has weed seeds impurities in it.