Want to know the #1 way to control weeds in your beds and borders? This video shows you how to use a simple paper and mulch technique for organic weed control, including tips for the best mulch and types of paper.
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I'm so excited to share this video with you since I've talked a LOT through the years of this site 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.
Where have I mentioned this weed blocking technique?
You can see it in this article on the 5 steps to organic weed control, this one about creating a new flower bed in just 8 no-dig steps, and this one all about using mulch in the garden - oh and this one all about keeping weeds out of your garden, too.
What's to love abut this type of organic weed control with paper and mulch?
- 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 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.
- It creates a healthy, clean and tidy look. I love how it immediately makes our yard look finished and ready for the season.
Believe me, if I had never learned of this (through the now defunct Organic Gardening magazines from the 1990s 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 this site and our YouTube channel (seems like the 21st century equivalent of a rooftop, doesn't it?) where we've added to our other gardening videos (like our solution to rural weeds & pasture grass) this 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?