Answer: It's free, it's abundant, but it isn't pretty: layers of newspaper or corrugated cardboard make great, effective and water-permeable mulch! I put a little straw over mine to make it more attractive, and as long as you are consistent about mulching year after year, any seeds that are introduced by the straw will be supressed. You can easily pull up those that come up around the mulch. You can also use a thick layer grass clippings or shredded leaves.
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