When I plan a new garden bed or clean up an existing garden bed in the spring or fall, I pull or hoe to remove weeds then plant my flowers or vegetables, leaving proper spacing between the plants. Next, I lay 6 to 8 sheets of black/white newspaper on top of soil around my flowers as a weed blocker, After laying it, wet the newspaper to keep in place. I lay my mulch of grass clippings or shredded leaves on top of the newspaper, then I lay pinestraw on top for a formal touch. Wet the mulch to keep it in place.
This keeps your garden weed free for a few months and is eye-appealing, plus you are recycling the newspaper (which breaks down into mulch and is beneficial to your soil.)
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