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.
Delivery of 10 Cubic Yards Permalink
We were unsure how much mulch to purchase, but found a helpful calculator and decided upon ten cubic yards. Since we don’t own a truck we happily paid the $50 delivery fee and figured we err on the side of buying too much mulch rather than being short.
I had several photo searches for “ten cubic yards mulch,” so hopefully this photo helps another first time mulch buyer make an informed decision!
Tools of the Trade Permalink
Moving ten cubic yards of mulch wasn’t difficult with my steel wheelbarrow (with pneumatic tire, which is key), mulch fork, and garden rake. I wholeheartedly recommend all three tools as they were invaluable for getting the job done in a timely manner.
1,020 Feet of Kraft Paper Permalink
We considered using newsprint as our weed barrier, but decided it would be too much effort to collect a pile of free weekly papers (as we don’t subscribe to our local newspaper).
An alternative paper product is unbleached, unwaxed kraft paper, which we purchased from our friend, the Internet.
Wet the Old Mulch Permalink
The first step is to soak the existing mulch with water so that the kraft paper doesn’t so easily blow away.
Cut the Kraft Paper Permalink
We found that our small utility table was sufficient a surface for cutting the kraft paper, especially with a couple of bricks to keep the roll of paper from falling to the ground.
Lay the Paper Down and Cover Permalink
We spread our mulch over a couple of windy days, so we sprayed down the kraft paper with water before dumping our mulch over it.
The Process in Photos Permalink
The Management Permalink
Progress Day One Permalink
We arranged to have our mulch delivered late afternoon on a Friday. We then made good progress that evening by covering the beds that border two sides of our backyard.
Six Cubic Yards Remain Permalink
Progress Day Two Permalink
Even though we had all day Saturday to spread the remaining six cubic yards, we only needed until the early afternoon to finish the job.