I read somewhere that newspaper works as a great weed barrier. I had my doubts...how could something that's free and so easily available (we get the paper daily) beat weeds? Turns out it really does work! There's something about the acidity of the ink that keeps the weeds at bay. Over a year ago I laid it down in select areas of our front yard and to this day those areas are almost weed free.
Now that our entire front yard has been landscaped I'm resorting to my free weed fighting solution. Even though a great part of the front is now a dg pathway there is still a lot of square footage of planter beds. We've covered almost half of it and we're trying to get the rest done before the rains come.
I was going to order mulch but I had no idea how expensive it was! I got quotes from $700-2,000 for the amount I needed. I'd rather put that money towards buying more plants. So Dave went to get free mulch from the city. The good thing is it's free, the bad thing is that sometimes it can be hard to find. Lately, it's been running out quickly.
I had also heard that the city mulch came with cut glass, syringes, etc. So far that has not been the case. Dave says he sorts through what he brings home. On rare occasion he's found a piece of glass but nothing like what we had heard. Maybe it depends on what part of town you're getting it from.
It's amazing how just putting down the same color mulch all around will clean up a space. I love that Dave found dark mulch. The contrast between the planted space and the pathway is beautiful. The only small problem is making sure all the paper is covered up. If it starts to become exposed here and there the yard starts to look like it's been trashed. But, like I said, it's a small problem. I continue to love working and spending time in our front yard. I continue to love seeing it grow. Once we get the paper and mulch down I'll be looking forward to the rainy season!