Sometimes, good old hand-pulling is still the most effective way of getting rid of weed growth in mulch.
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.
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.
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.
How to Kill Weeds in Mulch with Herbicides
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.
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.
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.
Getting Rid of Weed Growth in Mulch
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.
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.
Besides ultimately having healthier and more attractive landscaping beds, one of the biggest benefits of working with a professional is the ability to hand over the hassles, and the worries, associated with keeping your plant beds looking their best. You’re busy and the last thing you probably want to do on your free weekend is pull weeds. With a pro, you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, with the power of pro-biotic soil additives working their wonders, your plants will be looking better than ever.
Your landscaping adds a lot of beauty to your property and you likely appreciate them for their aesthetic appeal. That is until you start seeing weeds creep in. Weeds are an eyesore that can really detract from the overall look of your landscape beds.
In fact, many homeowners assume that there’s nothing more they can do to address weeds other than mulching their beds and hand-pulling any of the weeds that break through. While it’s certainly true that mulching will help suppress weeds, there are always those persistent ones that continue to emerge.
It’s really a win all around. You get to take back your time while also having the best-looking plant beds in your neighborhood. It’s a wise choice that will pay off in more ways than one.
Enhancing the Health of Your Flower Beds
At Master Lawn, our Landscaping Weed & Feed program includes a rotation of pre-emergent and post-emergent products in addition to the use of organic, pro-biotic soil additives in order to help improve your plants’ color, vigor, and root health.
Of course, you might be wondering what kills weeds but not plants in your flower beds? You may be worried about harming the plants that you love. Rest assured, at Master Lawn, we are utilizing specialized products, customized to your landscape beds and their specific needs.
But don’t lose hope just yet! A regular rotation of weed control products throughout the spring, summer, and fall can keep those pesky weeds at bay. We find that a lot of homeowners are aware that there are weed control products for the lawn but they don’t realize there are products that work for plant beds, too.
How to Stop Weeds from Growing in Mulch
First, it’s important to point out that weeds can be unrelenting and will continue to keep trying to come back. Though you may be looking to answer the question of how to prevent weeds from growing, there is no solution that will get rid of weeds forever.
If you’re like a lot of homeowners, you might feel frustrated by the uncertainty of what to do about weeds in your landscaping.