Mulch is an invaluable gardening tool that can provide greater control over the intrusion of grass and weeds. By adding a layer of mulch to your flowerbeds, tree bases and other areas, you’ll discourage grass and weeds from growing.
This is because mulch works to block sunlight, preventing plants from emerging through the soil – at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. There are times when some grass or weeds may still appear through the mulch. So, how do you stop this from happening?
Use Landscaping Fabric
One simple and effective solution is to use landscaping fabric. By placing landscaping fabric over the soil and then covering it with mulch, you’ll create a stronger barrier of protection that’s naturally protected from grass and weeds.
Landscaping fabric consists of a durable textile that, like mulch, blocks sunlight and prevents the growth of weeds and grass. You can purchase it at most home improvement stores and plant nurseries. After covering your soil with the landscaping fabric, add a layer of mulch for a higher level of protection from grass and weeds.
Spray With Vinegar
Of course, another idea is to spray the encroaching weeds and grass with vinegar. You can really use any herbicide, but vinegar is safe, all natural and inexpensive. By mixing it with a small amount of liquid dish soap, you’ll create a thicker consistency, allowing it to stick to grass and weeds.
When you see them emerge through the mulch, spray them directly with the soapy vinegar, after which they should die. This isn’t a permanent solution, but it’s still an effective solution for dealing with stubborn grass and weeds.
Define the Edges
Don’t forget to edge the areas around your mulched flowerbed. Why is this necessary? By edging, especially creating a deep edge, you’ll discourage grass and weed roots from making their way under your mulch.
It’s frustrating when you invest your time, money and energy into mulching a flowerbed, only to discover that weeds have taken over shortly thereafter. After all, one of the main purposes of mulch is to keep the flowerbed weed free.
The good news is that you can discourage weeds, grass and other invasive plant life from emerging through the mulch by using the tips listed here. Landscaping fabric, vinegar spray and well-defined edges are key to keeping your flowerbed and mulch weed free.
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Braden Bills says
I’ve been having a lot of problems with weeds growing through my mulch. It makes sense that I would want to have some landscaping fabric put in! I’ll see if I can find a professional to handle that for me, since I don’t know the best way to put it in.
Jun Farol says
Is mulch safe health-wise under a wood deck?
Ken Partain says
Hi Jun. Thanks for reading. The answer to your question depends on what you mean by ‘health-wise’. I’ve had mulch under a deck before and everything was fine. You should make sure that you have adequate drainage so that water doesn’t build up under the deck and create an environment where fungi and algae can grow.
Moved into a house that has several massive mulch beds. Grass and weeds started popping up everywhere a few weeks ago when spring weather started. The mulch already has fabric underneath and a very defined edge. I’d like to prevent weeds and grass from growing there and plant a few blue spruce trees and perhaps some spring flowers. How do I get rid of the grass and weeds without preventing other things from thriving there after I plant them?
Ken Partain says
Hi Jaye. Thanks for your question. The best way to remove the grass and weeds without damaging the soil for future planting is to just get in there and remove the grass and weeds by hand. I wish I had a better answer for you but if you use any type of herbicide it could inhibit the growth, or even kill any new plants you put in.
I have old mulch, that has turned into a fine dirt like texture on top of landscape fabric. Should I remove it before I put coarse mulch down to avoid creeping Bermuda grass and weed invasion
Ken Partain says
Hi Joey. Thanks for reading. There’s no need to remove the fine dirt-like material. That is the composted remains of previous mulch applications. You can simply mulch over it. The creeping Bermuda is another story. Bermuda grass is very resilient and will not only grow over but under and through many types of bedding borders. The key is to be vigilant in keeping the grass trimmed.
We just laid mulch and grass is coming thru. Would spraying a weed and grass killer help get rid of them? Also can I use it after it rains?
what is the best fabric to use under gravel to prevent weeds and grass?
Is there any way to get rid of bermuda grass from the flower beds permanently? I have tried it all, digging it up, fabirc weed protector, mulch , stones and its soooo wicked!!! Drives me crazy!!!