Landscape Mulch for Weed Control
Landscaping mulch is one of the easiest and environmental friendly alternatives to control weeds in both your landscaping beds and garden. Mulch is usually recycled green products such as leaves, shreaded bark, leaf materials, nut shells etc. Quite often mulch will be combined with a natural fertilizer such as chicken manure, which adds slow release nutrients into your soil and around your plants.
Mulch should be added in about 3 to 4 inch thicknesses to be totally effective in weed control. In order to do this try to remove some of the existing soil from your beds in order to make room for the mulch. Effectively reuse the removed soil to make landscape berms to give the soil a "new life" in your yard.
I prefer to use the mulch with fertilizer around my plants because it will give the plants enough food for an entire growing season. If you want to make your mulch last longer, about mid-way through the growing season, use a garden fork and turn over or "fluff up" your mulch. This will make the mulch last into the next year, when you can again use this method to extend the life of your mulch and possibly reach the end of a second growing season.
Eventually your placed mulch will decompose enough that you will need to add more. If this is the case you should only need to add about 1/2 the about as the original placement and you will good for another year or two.
If you wish to eliminate the need for replacement of your mulch every year you could consider one of the landscape rubber mulch alternatives which will not decompose, but you will need to add nutrients to your soil every year. Landscape rubber mulch is also very kid friendly and can be used for play areas, walking paths and similar area.
Another thing to consider 2 to 3" of limestone or polished river rock with a weed barrier beneath it to eliminate weeds, or a combination of all the above methods to give variety to your landscape.