what to put under mulch application

Asked May 16, 2019, 12:14 PM EDT

Please advise what material is best for lay under mulch to prevent weed growth? In the past I have used newspapers with great success but I do not have access to that much newspaper anymore.

El Paso County Colorado

1 Response

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your question about what to put under your mulch, you no longer have access to newspapers. Please see GardenNotes #245, Mulching with Wood/Bark Chips, Grass Clippings and Rock which is included below. If you don’t have access to newspapers, your best option would be to apply the wood/bark mulch at a depth to prevent weed growth, smaller chips should not exceed a depth of 1-2 inches and larger chips are typically applied at a depth of 3-4 inches. Thicker layers may reduce soil oxygen. Wood/bark chip mulch directly on the soil creates a favorable environment for earthworms and soil microorganisms. Wood chips have the advantage that they decompose faster, enriching the soil. Bark chips decompose slower, requiring less frequent replenishment.

http://cmg.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/245.pdf

Happy Gardening,

Barbara S.

El Paso County Colorado Master Gardener