I’m so excited to share our newest video with you since I’ve talked a LOT through the years of this blog about one of my favorite ways to keep weeds to a minimum in flower, shrub, and perennial beds and borders: by layering newspaper, brown paper or cardboard with a rich garden compost mulch. How much? Try here, here, and here – oh and here, too.
Why do I love this type of organic weed control with paper and mulch so much?
- It’s the NUMBER ONE way I’ve found to have nearly weed-free beds with the least amount of thought, money and time on my part and – this is key – for a long time. No expensive chemicals or reapplications through the season – we just do it once and we’re done for the year.
- It compounds over time. The first year you do this to a weed infested bed, you will only have a few straggling weeds to pick out during the growing season, but with the next spring’s rains you’ll see a number trying to return.Never fear – layer again and the next spring you’ll see less weeds, and so on. If you do this yearly, it compounds, smothering existing weeds and seeds, not allowing weeds to set seed and even keeping pernicious weeds like violets (remember when I wrote about my garden nemesis?) in check until eventually, you may be able move to an every-other-year cycle.
- It enriches the soil and feeds the plants. By using a garden compost, I’m feeding the plants and helping the soil as it breaks down naturally over time. See that photo above? I’ve never added any type of fertilizer to this bed other than the yearly (or every other year, a-hem) topping of paper and compost – it’s 9 years old and the plants love it. This goes for roses, perennials, shrubs, everything.
- It helps keep the soil moist during the summer months.
- I love how it looks – so healthy, clean and tidy.
Believe me, if I had never learned of this (through Organic Gardening in the mid-90s when we bought our first house), Brian and I would not have nearly the beds we do – it just wouldn’t be worth it. And so I keep shouting this method from the rooftops. And by that I mean our YouTube channel (hey, whatever works – seems like the 21st century equivalent of a rooftop, doesn’t it?) where we’ve added to our gardening videos (like our solution to rural weeds & pasture grass) with this newest one all about using my favorite gardening technique, layering paper and compost mulch:
So tell me, do you use this method, too? If not, what’s your favorite way to keep weeds under control?