weeds growing on top of 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Things You Will Need.

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.

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

Don’t use clear plastic weed barriers because they aren’t as effective as black plastic. Clear plastic lets more sunlight in, which can encourage weed growth. Don’t use plastic weed barriers around trees and shrubs because it prevents their roots from getting adequate water.

Warning.

As experienced gardeners know, fighting weeds is a never-ending battle. They seem to pop up no matter what you do. But there are proven strategies for preventing them, and mulch is one of the best tools available. Working with a professional for your landscaping needs, including mulch application, is the best way to make sure your weed control program works.

We often find weed seeds in old or contaminated mulch. Seeds can also get distributed by birds or wind into new beds.

For flower beds and landscaping, we like a chipped or shredded bark mulch with a relatively coarse texture. It decomposes relatively slowly and doesn’t blow away so it can do its job and keep sunlight from reaching the soil. Inorganic mulch (like stones or gravel) does an excellent job of preventing weed growth. However, it doesn’t offer the soil-improving benefits of organic mulch.

Applying mulch every spring makes sense on several levels. It helps enrich the soil and helps retain moisture during the dry summer months. But the main reason most of us mulch is weed control. We faithfully lay down a couple of inches of mulch and cross our fingers that we’ve won the battle. But most of us aren’t so lucky: weeds almost always find a way to pop up, even in the most beautifully mulched landscaping. Why are weeds so hard to tame, and what can you do to stop them? Here are a few tips:

If weeds start popping up in mulch, we want to tackle them before they can seed and spread. If you’re pulling weeds by hand, make sure you get the whole weed, including the root. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide is also an option. One approach is a commercial weed-killer like Roundup, which contains the chemical glyphosate. Some gardeners prefer a more natural approach, using a mixture of vinegar, salt, and dish soap to kill weeds as they grow.

How Can I Kill Weeds in Mulch?

Here are a few strategies for preventing weeds from popping up in your mulch:

We all know how tenacious weeds can be. They thrive on the very same things your garden does: sunlight, water, and nutrients in the soil. Weeds take pretty much any opportunity to grow and aren’t picky about where they take root. As plant-based mulch decomposes, it provides an attractive, nutrient-rich environment for weeds to take root.

At Epling, our experienced team knows which type of mulch to use in different locations. We apply just the right amount for each job, both for weed control and curb appeal. We have herbicide use down to a science and know which kind to use, both before and after mulching. This spring, put the focus on spending time outdoors with family and let our pros at Epling take care of the weeds.

How Can I Prevent Weeds in My Mulch?

What’s the Best Mulch to Prevent Weeds?

If you haven’t applied mulch yet, landscape fabric or weed barrier cloth is a safe way to block weeds while still allowing water to pass through to the soil. Unfortunately, landscape fabric isn’t a perfect solution because some determined weeds will push through the fabric, and those weeds will be extremely difficult to pull.

A Note about Glyphosate : You can use glyphosate to stop weeds in mulch, but this approach requires extreme care because glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide, will kill any broad-leaved plant it touches, including your favorite perennials or shrubs. Apply glyphosate directly to weeds, using a paintbrush. Be extremely careful not to touch nearby plants. You can also protect plants by covering them with a cardboard box while you’re applying the herbicide. Don’t remove the box until the treated weeds have time to dry completely.

Mulch acts as physical barrier against weeds, but it must block sunlight in order to be effective. If you notice weeds coming up in mulch, you may need to thicken the layer as blocking light generally requires at least 2 to 3 inches (5-7.6 cm.). Replenish mulch as it decomposes or blows away.

Other than hand-pulling, mulch is probably the single most important means of weed control. However, mulch works best when used as part of a multi-pronged approach along with pre-emergent herbicides.

To stop weeds in mulch with pre-emergent herbicides, begin by raking mulch off to the side, then hoe or pull any existing weeds. Apply the product, following manufacturer directions to the letter. Pay attention to the label, as some plants don’t tolerate certain types of pre-emergent herbicides.

How to Kill Weeds in Mulch with Herbicides.

Sometimes, good old hand-pulling is still the most effective way of getting rid of weed growth in mulch.

Replace the mulch carefully, being careful not to disturb the just treated soil. At this point, you can provide extra protection by applying another layer of herbicide over the mulch. A liquid herbicide works best because it adheres to the mulch instead of falling through to the soil.

Weed control is one of the primary reasons for applying mulch, yet pesky weeds may persist, even through a carefully applied layer of bark chips or pine needles. This happens when weed seeds are buried in the soil or are distributed by birds or wind. What should you do if you’ve got weeds coming up in mulch in spite of your best intentions? Keep reading for a few helpful tips.

When used correctly before weeds sprout in early spring, pre-emergent herbicides are one effective way to prevent weeds coming up in mulch. They won’t, however, do anything for weeds that have already sprouted.

Note : Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.

Manual Mulch Weed Control.

Getting Rid of Weed Growth in Mulch.