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The wife and I are about ready to put mulch down in our two front bed's how deep should I do the mulch I was thinking 2 to 3 inches deep, is that too much or not enough to help deter weeds.
 

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They actually already have shrubs, with some flowering plants (can't recall all there names) we where also at some point going to do some annuals and perrenials.
2"-3" around bushes is fine, don't pile it up next to the trunk / stems.

That is pretty deep for annuals, more like 1" around annuals is better.

You can also plant your annuals a bit higher by adding in a little dirt to keep everything in the bed at the same level. Just make sure your not burring plants too deep.

2",3" or even 4" and your still going to have some aggressive weeds that make there way through the mulch. You can lay down wet cardboard before you mulch, it will help block weeds, weed barriers are just a mess, the cardboard thing is much better imo..

Note: You will get seeds that land in the mulch and germinate. Not much you can do about that other than use preen.
 

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Jamie has you headed in the right direction here.

Just to note... I have put down weed barrier fabric, in several beds, over which I put mulch. It seems to have been a waste of time, money and effort. Weeds come through the mulch just like they come through beds with no weed barrier.

I either pull the weeds, or spray them with RoundUp.


Good luck!
 

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if u are deadset on weedblocker fabric make sure to get this expensive stuff that is thicker...i bought the cheap thin stuff last year and had more weeds than before i put it down...this year i upgraded to much thicker stuff and have had no weeds at all.i forget the thichness i bought but you can search it and figure out whats right for you.. i also agree with the cardboard idea and have been told news paper 2 sheets thick works well.
 

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if u are deadset on weedblocker fabric make sure to get this expensive stuff that is thicker...i bought the cheap thin stuff last year and had more weeds than before i put it down...this year i upgraded to much thicker stuff and have had no weeds at all.i forget the thichness i bought but you can search it and figure out whats right for you.. i also agree with the cardboard idea and have been told news paper 2 sheets thick works well.
I've found the stuff they call "professional grade" at home improvement stores and garden centers around here still suffers from the same problems as the cheaper stuff after a year or two. I don't use any of it any more.

The way I see it is with mulch, once you have the weeds removed / dead in the ground, then the job that the weed barrier could do is over and it starts becoming a problem. Seeds get on top of the weed barrier on top of the mulch and start growing, the get their roots through the root barrier and become much more difficult to remove than if there was no root barrier.

The newspaper / cardboard method does the same thing with aiding in killing the weeds, but I've found it is more effective and it doesn't get in the way in the future, it is easy to dig through or move.

The long term problems at least in this area are seeds that fall into the beds and crawling weeds like creeping charlie that take hold in the lawn or somewhere else and creep (leap) into your beds. Not much you can do about the creeping weeds, other than to hand pull them. However, you can apply corn gluten meal to the top of your mulch beds to prevent germination of most seeds. If you apply the corn gluten meal, once your base weeds from under the mulch area are dead, all you will have to deal with are the creeping weeds.

If I was growing commercially, I would likely use a very thick heavy plastic mesh weed barrier, (and place nothing on top of it) they are expensive, ugly and difficult to cut. They look more like a floor mat. They are the only type of weed barrier that I am familiar with that is really worth using if you have the right application, but they are just are not worth it for home use imo...
 

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the professional stuff is what i used almost looks like a pond liner in a way...and u r right jamiedolan about the seeds getting on top the mulch i was just having a heck of a time with a new island flower bed that i tilled up last year and had to so something i spent half the summer last year pulling weeds and wasnt gonna do that again this year...i have however treated all that area with preen to stop the rebirth of new weeds.
 
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