The Q&A Archives: Weed Prevention/Ground Covering Mulch

Question: Would cedar chips or other ground covering prevent weeds from growing in my flower bed?

Answer: A mulch layer several inches thick of a material such as shredded bark or aged wood chips can be very helpful in preventing weed seed germination in flower beds. The mulch will also help feed the soil as it breaks down over time. If there are already weeds in the bed, you may be able to smother them by cutting them short, topping with several layers of damp newspaper and then topping that with the mulch. Very persistent perennial weeds may pop up through that and can be controlled by pulling repeatedly or by carefully treating them with an herbicide containing glyphosate, being sure to read and follow the label instructions carefully.

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