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.


Happy Gardening,

Barbara S.

El Paso County Colorado Master Gardener