If you've ever laid mulch on your garden before, you know that it can be an effective deterrent to the growth of weeds. However, you may need to take additional steps before you order your mulch and lay it down if you want to keep those weeds well and truly at bay. What steps should you take to prepare the area?
Blocking out the Sun
Remember, mulch is a very good barrier against weed infestation, but the covering must block out as much sunlight as possible if it is to be truly effective. Therefore, remember that you should always order enough so that you can lay it to a depth of a few centimetres and have plenty on hand in your garage, in case you need to replenish.
Applying a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Before you lay the mulch, you can take some additional steps. Begin by removing as much of the weed as you can and then applying a pre-emergent herbicide on top. If you have some mulch on site already, rake it off to the side before applying the herbicide. Make sure to keep the herbicide away from any adjacent flowerbeds as well, and pay particular attention to the directions given by the manufacturer.
Adding a Barrier Cloth
You may also find it advantageous to lay down a weed barrier cloth before you introduce a new supply of mulch. This is a specially made fabric that will prevent growth while still allowing water to pass through in order to feed the soil.
Dealing with Hardy Weeds
Some weeds are particularly tough and will even penetrate any landscape fabric like this, but they are few and far between. If you come across one, you can attempt to pull it out by hand.
Certain chemicals can be applied to tough customers, but you need to be very careful as these solutions are particularly strong. Protect any nearby plants with a cardboard box or other container and apply the chemical sparingly to the weed, using a brush rather than a spray. Let everything dry before you remove any protection from the adjacent plants, and you should be able to put a stop to those particular weeds once and for all.
Don't forget to order plenty of mulch in advance of the growing season so that you can apply the correct amount in each area. Contact a garden supply delivery service for more information.