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how to stop weeds from growing in wood chips

How to stop weeds from growing in wood chips

Treat the ground with a pre-emergent herbicide before adding the mulch. Purchase a chemical herbicide or use an organic herbicide, like corn meal gluten, according to the package instructions.

Mulch is beneficial to plants as well as aesthetically pleasing. Whether you use an organic mulch like wood chips and bark or an inorganic mulch like gravel, mulching maintains soil temperatures and keeps moisture levels higher. Mulch also acts as a weed blocker, preventing the sun from reaching weed seeds and allowing them to germinate. Occasionally, a weed or two does get through the mulch, but a few tips can help the mulch do its weed-blocking best.

Lay sheets of black plastic or landscape fabric under the mulch to add a second layer of protection, keeping the sun from reaching weed seeds in the soil.

Make the mulch layer thicker. It is much harder for sun and weeds to penetrate a 4-to 6-inch layer of mulch than it is for them to penetrate a 2-inch layer of mulch.

Pull weeds that make it through your barriers. If it is possible, pull the weed and the root system when it appears.

Dig out weeds before adding the mulch. Pull existing weeds by hand and dig out stubborn roots with a trowel.

Spot treat weeds if they appear and cannot be pulled. Pour boiling water on the weed to kill it. Alternatively , spray the weed with a post-emergent herbicide, dish soap or pickling vinegar. Pull up the weed once it is dead, or push it down under the mulch.

How to stop weeds from growing in wood chips

These mulches won’t blow away or decompose quickly enough that weeds can take root. When choosing organic mulches that resist weeds, go with wood, bark, or nut husks.

Weed Before Mulching

To prevent this, dig a trench around your garden and lay a border of rocks, bricks, stones, or pavers. Not only can these features be attractive, but they also stop encroaching weeds.

Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Weeds grow best in the areas between established plants. If you’re fighting a battle with weeds in your garden, consider simply planting varieties that sprawl and cover the ground. Fill your garden with attractive, aromatic plants to choke out weeds.