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Weeds and new mulch

I have several beds with shrubs and mulch that I thoroughly weeded at the start of the summer.  All the weeds have come back and I am finally going to buy new mulch (although I can barely afford it).  My question is do i rake up all the weeds and old mulch before putting down the new stuff or do I spray weed killer and then put on the new mulch?  Or can I avoid the weedkiller altogether?  I have kids and a cat that would be difficult to keep out of the garden so I usually don't use weed killer.  I have that black underlay in the beds so I would just be raking the much off that.  Any advice would be appreciated.



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,247

    Are they perennial weeds or annuals?   If they are annuals then they should hand pull or hoe off easily. Some things like poppies will seed into mulch and grow unless it is chunky stuff like bark or cocoa shells.

    The normal time to add mulch is spring, starting with a weed free bed. If they are perennials then youhave a problem because you cannot fork them out easily  with a membrane. You would have to spot weedkiller with something like glyphosate gel.

    Just putting more mulch on top would not help because they will just grow through it.

  • Thanks fidgetbones.  I think the majority are annuals so maybe I'll pull all of them and treat the perennials with a weedkiller.  Do you think I should lift the mulch that is already there or would i be safe enough once I let the weedkiller work?  Leaving what is there would save me money, but I don't want to face massive weeds again if I don't lift what is there.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,247

    Leave it there just add more on top. Mulch tends to disappear as it rots down.

  • Yes Verdun, the membrane is under the existing mulch.  


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,049

    Hoe the weeds out regularly every few weeks - that's how you get rid of weeds - that's gardening.  No amount of mulching will get rid of weeds.image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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