weed abaitment - Knowledgebase Question

Upland, Ca
Question by jr0371
October 21, 2009
I've heard, placing newspaper under mulch or woodchips can control weed growth. If so, how thick? Any other tips for controling weeds in areas where plants and shrubs are growing?

Answer from NGA
October 21, 2009


What you've heard is true! Folded newspapers (about 6 sheets thick) or even cardboard under organic mulch will keep weed seeds from germinating. After a few seasons you can rototill or dig this mulch into the soil and replace it with fresh newspapers and organic mulch. If you want to use bark chips rather than fine mulch (such as compost), I'd invest in some weedblock fabric. Lay the weedblock over the bare soil and then spread your wood chips. Weed barrier material will last for many, many years. You can cut it to fit around your existing shrubs and perennials or lay it over an empty bed and then cut holes where you want to plant. Either way, the newspapers or the weed barrier will exclude sunlight and keep weed seeds from sprouting.

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