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mulch to prevent weeds from growing

Check the label to determine if it is safe for use around the kinds of landscape plants you have and effective against the weeds normally present.

Preemergence herbicides, such as those containing oryzalin or trifluralin (look on the label for these chemicals), or nontoxic corn gluten meal, kill weeds just as they germinate and will not eradicate established weeds. For a preemergence herbicide to be effective, you must apply it to soil cleared of visible weeds; also, you have to water most of these herbicides into the soil.

Frequent, light watering causes shallow roots and helps annual bluegrass, crabgrass, chickweed, sedges and other weed seeds germinate. If you water too little, the lawn suffers while spotted spurge, Bermuda grass, quackgrass and other weeds adapted to drier soil thrive. Instead, provide your lawn with infrequent, deep soakings. Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. Set an empty tuna can on the lawn to determine when you have applied 1 inch of water.

How to Mulch Over Weeds

Spread Landscape fabric and cut it to fit around plants. Photo by Saxon Holt

You can get in-depth information on drip irrigation from the Irrigation and Green Industry Network in the “Where to Find It” section.

Smother Weeds with Mulch

Controlling weeds is a fight you can’t win entirely because they always grow back. But you can keep weeds under control by depriving new ones of the conditions they need to take root in the first place. Let’s look at how to prevent weeds from growing.

Weeds can’t survive without moisture. In areas with little or no summer rain, drip irrigation or soaker hoses help prevent weed seeds from sprouting by depriving them of water. These systems deliver water to the root zone of plants at the soil level. The soil surface and area surrounding the plants stays relatively dry. In contrast, overhead sprinkler systems spray water over the entire soil surface and supply both garden plants and weeds with water.

Mulch to prevent weeds from growing

Cut small “X” shapes into the weed barrier if you want to plant new plants in the area before laying the mulch. Dig a hole in each “X” shape and place one plant inside each hole.

Overlap the strips of black plastic weed barrier so weeds can’t sneak their way through the edges of the material.

Rake the area smooth and remove any old mulch, rocks or debris that could poke a hole in your weed barrier.

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.

Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch over the entire surface of the black plastic weed barrier. Spread the mulch over the edges of the weed barrier so the black plastic doesn’t show.

Warning

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.

Black plastic weed barrier

Mulch to prevent weeds from growing

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.

Hand-pulling can be time consuming and fortunately, it is not your only option.

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.

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.

Enhancing the Health of Your Flower Beds

That means in addition to answering the question of how to prevent weeds in flower beds, this program will also enhance the overall health of the plants within those beds. The introduction of these microorganisms (like beneficial fungi and bacteria) will assist your plants in their ability to digest nutrients in the soil.

If you’re like a lot of homeowners, you might feel frustrated by the uncertainty of what to do about weeds in your landscaping.

For instance, if you are dealing with Monkey Grass, we have a specialized control product to address that. If you have Nutsedge creeping into your plant beds from the lawn, we can mix up a specialized product to handle that. Our technicians are trained to know what products to use, where to apply them, and when to apply them—as all of these details matter. Keep in mind that because different seasons produce different weeds, it’s important that products are rotated based on season, too.

How to Stop Weeds from Growing in Mulch

So let’s talk about how to prevent weeds in flower beds so that you can get back to enjoying their beauty without having to commit your weekend to pull weeds.

These microorganisms also help strengthen your plants against disease and pests. Healthy, biologically active soil has a highly diverse array of this microscopic life and can even help reduce the need for some insect and disease control products over time. A routinely used plant health care service that is focused on the biology of the soil health of the plant beds will have fewer weeds and better-performing plants.