On the subject of mulching to control weeds, I would like to add that flakes (or the two to four inch thick sheets that naturally peel off a bale) of alfalfa hay work very, very well. They are thick enough to prevent most any weed from germinating through them, and there are enzymes in the alfalfa (not to mention the nitrogen) that promote growth of whatever plants you are mulching. Other mulch or decorative rocks can be put over the top for a more finished look.
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