Like everything else we value, gardens require maintenance. The beds are pretty easy to take care of. Weed, mulch, water, amend the soil...it becomes pretty routine after a while. What I did today (or at least started today) was maintenance on the grounds where my beds sit. That area was a big patch of weeds and prairie grass before I had the beds built. After clearing the area and building the beds, I had to do something to keep the weeds, but particularly the sticker burrs, at bay. These things are nasty. And without constant attention to eradicate them, they'll take over a patch of grass in a hurry.
What I did in the beginning (about 2 years ago) to control and stamp out the weeds, was spray the area with brush killer, put down a layer of newspaper, and then cover the whole area in a thick layer of mulch. Well that was two years ago and the sticker burrs and weeds have began creeping through the mulch. It was time to do it again.
The process is pretty easy, but it is a lot of work. I first sprayed the section I was working on with Round Up. Next I put down a layer of newspaper. Newspaper is great because it's an additional barrier to the weeds and it is a good way to recycle newspaper. It eventually breaks down into the soil and just disintegrates.
It really helps to do this on a day when the wind is not blowing :) Which, thankfully, today it was not. Working in small sections at a time, I then add a wheelbarrow of cedar bark mulch (did I mention I have mounds of this stuff?) and rake it over the newspaper.
And that is basically it. I bet I hauled 9 wheelbarrels of cedar bark mulch today. I knew I would not finish it all today, but I got a pretty good start. Hopefully, I'll finish this weekend. Looks much better, doesn't it?