One way to discourage weeds from growing in your flower beds is to pair a layer of kraft paper with several inches of mulch.
The kraft paper prevents sunlight from reaching the weeds, retains moisture, and safely biodegrades.
This is obviously not a permanent solution, which is in contrast to using landscaping fabric, a material that lasts for years.
It’s also relatively inexpensive, so even mixed results would be worth the expenditure, so long as one doesn’t mind the extra effort that’s required to use it.
We decided to try it and then wait a year to see if it’s a worthwhile strategy for our landscaping.