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how to prevent weeds from growing in mulch

How to prevent weeds from growing in mulch

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.

Things You Will Need

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.

Warning

Black plastic weed barrier

How to prevent weeds from growing in mulch

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.

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.

Manual Mulch Weed Control

Sometimes, good old hand-pulling is still the most effective way of 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.

How to Kill Weeds in Mulch with Herbicides

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 prevent weeds from growing in mulch

Don’t rush it; try to be as thorough as you can when removing the weeds. Remember that if you fail to get the weeds by the roots when you’re removing them, things won’t go as well.

Read on to learn about how you can stop weeds from growing in mulch. You’ll figure out how to handle this problem efficiently so that you can get back to enjoying your gardens.

Ensure That You Remove Weeds Completely

You just need to cut “X” shapes in the barrier that will allow your plants to grow through everything. Strategically cut these “X” shapes into the barrier so that all of your plants will be able to poke through the holes.

Make Use of a Weed Barrier Underneath Your Mulch

Of course, many people dislike using these weed barriers because they aren’t all that environmentally friendly. If you’re one of the millions of people who are opposed to using plastic items, then you can use an environmentally conscious weed barrier instead.