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Keeping Weeds Out of Your Mulch Beds

Updated on September 21, 2013

I enjoy working outside, but am getting to the point where minimal time doing lawn work is a goal. Put another way, I would rather be at the pool. Like many people, I have a fair number of mulch beds on my property. Keeping them weeded is a necessity. Otherwise, they just look terrible. Weeding, however, is no fun at all; and I’m sick and tired of doing it. What we will share here today, a "no weeding" option for keeping the beds weed free. What tools do you need?

  1. Three or four pronged rake/tiller and hand shovel, shown at upper right.
  2. One standard size, sprayer-equipped container weed killer.

The hand shovel and weed killer, if at all, should only be needed the first time. After that, as long as we stay on top of it, only the pronged rake will be needed.

Here’s how we do it. Assume this is the first time, and the mulch has become compacted; much like soil. Weeds are popping up all over the place. As mentioned, the first time will by far be the most difficult. Using the hand shovel, dig up and pull out the weeds. After that, rake the compacted mulch loose and spread it evenly. Finally, spray out a layer of weed killer over the bed.

From that point on, it should only be necessary to run the rake through the mulch, maybe bi-weekly or so, to keep weeds from taking hold. Seems to be working for me, and it makes for a lot less time and effort; a pretty simple solution. See the picture showing a portion of the freshly raked bed. The mulch is getting a bit old and ragged, but as long as we are weed free I’m OK with it.

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      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      Thank you, I'll try the foam setting

    • lucabrasi profile image
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      lucabrasi 3 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Hey. Apply the weed killer only in the mulch area where your shrubs and desired plants do not reside. I used the liquid Roundup with applicator included, set it for "foam" and applied as such. Worked nicely.

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      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      Weed killer? won't it hurt plants?

      Which form is best? Liquid or solid?

      I have both tools you have pictured

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      Miche Maniguet 3 years ago

      Hey Lu - Cool article, I think I am going to try it before I take a dip in the pool.