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Mulching Flowerbeds To Stop Weeds – 3 Simple Secrets To Success!

When it comes to mulching flowerbeds to stop weeds, 3 simple keys can make all the difference between having gorgeous, low maintenance, weed-free beds – or a weed infested nightmare!

One thing is for sure, not all mulches are the same. In fact, choosing the wrong mulch can actually lead to more weeds. But for total weed-free success, how you apply and maintain your mulch is equally important as well.

hosta plants
Using the right mulch in the right amount is a major key to weed-free success.

With that in mind, here are 3 simple secrets for mulching flowerbeds that will have your beds in tip-top shape. And for total weed control, pay extra special attention to tip #3!

Mulching Flowerbeds To Stop Weeds

#1 Avoid Using Super Fine / Ultra Shredded Mulch

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when mulching is selecting a mulch that is too fine. Often called ultra-fine, super-fine or triple shredded mulch, it quite simply will not help keep weeds out.

The real issue with super-fine mulch is it more like soil than mulch. Not only will it not block weed seeds from the soil, it will actually grow weeds right in it!

mulching flowerbeds
Super fine mulches may look pretty, but they don’t last, and actually provide a medium for weed seeds to sprout and grow.

A good mulch needs to keep blowing and drifting weeds from finding the soil below. It also needs to help insulate plants and conserve moisture in the soil.

For mulching flowerbeds, super shredded and ultra fine mulches simply do not provide this protection. Instead of forming a barrier, they actually become part of the soil layer. They also disappear quickly, leading to more expense and more mulching.

So what is the best choice? For maximum protection, select a double shredded hardwood mulch. It provides great protection from the soil below, and breaks down at a much slower rate as well. (See: How To Select The Best Mulch)

#2 Apply The Right Thickness

Just as important as selecting the right mulch is applying the right thickness of mulch. In fact, under-mulching is one of the biggest culprits when weeds overtake a flowerbed.

In order to stop weeds and insulate plants, mulch needs to be applied 4″ thick in flowerbeds. Anything less simply isn’t enough to keep weeds from finding a path to the soil.

mulching flowerbeds
Applying a 4″ layer of mulch helps to keep weeds out, and moisture in.

At the same time, be careful not to over-mulch. When applied to thickly, mulch can suffocate plants and keep oxygen and water from getting to the roots.

#3 Don’t Stir The Mulch!

Now that you have selected the right mulch, and applied it in the right thickness – the final key to success is to leave that mulch alone!

One of the easiest ways to invite weed issues into flowerbeds is to disturb the mulch. Raking or turning mulch to “freshen” it up is one of the biggest causes of weeds reappearing in flowerbeds

stirring mulch
Don’t rake or turn that mulch!

The minute mulch is turned or flipped, all of the weed seeds on top of the mulch now find an easy path to the surface below. And once there, the germination begins!

Instead of turning the mulch, simply add a thin top coat to freshen it up. This way, the protective barrier stays in tact, and weeds simply can’t find a way to germinate.

Here is mulching your flowerbeds for weed-free success! And for more ways to keep your flowerbeds weed-free, check out How To Keep Flowerbeds Weed Free at

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