How to Make (and Keep) Your Garden Free of Weeds
For gardeners and homeowners alike, one of the age-old questions they face every summer is how to make their gardens free of weeds – and keep them that way. At Kerr & Kerr Landscaping in Cambridge, we believe that keeping your garden free of weeds is a simple combination of choosing the right products and keeping up with maintenance.
Combine landscape fabric with mulch
While some homeowners choose one or the other, the best way to keep weeds at bay is to use a landscape fabric underneath a layer of mulch. While landscape fabric is a great idea, leaving it exposed to the sun and weather will cause it to break down much faster.
Paper and fiberglass mesh fabric can break down within three months, at which point you’re back to square one. Instead, layer two to three inches of mulch on top of your landscaping fabric. If protected by this layer of mulch, landscape fabric can last a lifetime.
Left alone, landscape fabric can also burn the plants underneath, as the black material attracts the heat of the sun.
Choose a quality mulch
A good quality mulch has protein and other nutrients that feed your plants and keep them healthy. Landscape fabrics are made of mesh so that these nutrients can seep into the soil underneath as the mulch breaks down.
It’s important to choose a high quality, natural mulch for your garden that will break down into a high quality topsoil over time (often in several months). Painted mulches, like red devil’s mulch, don’t break down, and instead release acid from the paint into the ground, contaminating your plants.
A high quality product will keep the pH level of your soil balanced, while giving your plants the nutrients they need from the roots up. Mulch also creates enough heat to kill the weed seeds off over time.
Keep adding mulch
Unfortunately for some, keeping your garden weed-free requires a bit of maintenance. However, keeping a mulched bed maintained is easier than a topsoil bed. Because mulch can break down so quickly, it’s important to keep adding to it to ensure it remains two to three inches thick throughout the gardening season. You should also replace mulch every year.