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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


The Finishing Touch — Apply Weed Preventer, Then Mulch This Week

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 1 hour

Garden tips by region keep-weeds

Your garden beds can be flower-full and weed-free with the proper preparation.

When you are preparing your garden bed for planting, the digging and raking also stirs up dormant weeds waiting for room to grow. Applying a weed preventer now will stop weed seeds from growing and make your flower beds weed-free all season.

After applying a weed preventer over the ground, spread a blanket of mulch around your plants. It blocks the sunlight, preventing weeds from growing.

Mulch also saves money on water. A thick blanket of mulch reduces evaporation, so you don’t have to water as much.

Plus, your flower beds look crisp and clean with a finishing touch of mulch.

How to Apply Weed Preventer to Your Flower Beds:

  1. Before applying any weed preventer, hand pull any large weeds. Rake the smaller weeds to loosen them from the soil and discard.
  2. Apply the weed preventer throughout your garden bed, according to the package instructions.
  3. Lightly water a granular weed control before mulching.
  4. If your garden bed is already mulched, use a topical weed preventer and water the mulch to ensure the weed preventer evenly spreads.
  5. Some weed preventers can be used several times in the growing season. Check package instructions for application frequency.

How to Choose and Use the Right Mulch for Your Flowers:

  1. Choose the right mulch:
    • To improve your soil and add nutrients to your garden, use compost.
    • For natural-looking mulch, use shredded bark, bark nuggets or pine straw. Bonus: Pine straw is good for acid-loving plants like azaleas.
    • For an informal-looking mulch, use wood chips. They last a long time but can take nitrogen from the soil as they break down. Save them for use around big shrubs.
    • For a low-maintenance mulch, use lava rocks, gravel or pebbles. Be careful. Dark stones absorb heat and light ones reflect sunlight so they can overheat plants in hot weather.
  2. Apply at least 2-3” of mulch either by hand or with a trowel, garden fork or shovel. Keep mulch away from plant trunks or stems, where pests or diseases hide.
  3. Add more mulch if it breaks down or starts to look thin.

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