Keeping flowerbeds weed free can seem overwhelming. And, it can certainly feel like a never-ending summertime chore!
The constant weeding, mulching, re-mulching, and then weeding again gets old fast.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
In fact, with a few key tips, you can keep your flowerbeds beds healthy, tidy, beautiful – and most of all, virtually weed free all summer long.
The Secrets To Keeping Flowerbeds Weed Free
Fill Flowerbeds With More Plants, & Less Mulching Areas
As you will see below, mulch is an important key to keeping weeds at bay.
But too many times, flowerbeds are filled with more mulch than plants. And that is a recipe for disaster.
The number one key to keeping flowerbeds weed free is to fill your flowerbeds full of plants. Think of it as planting a living mulch weed-barrier.
Thick plantings of perennials, annuals, shrubs and bushes eliminate open spaces for weeds and weed seeds to become established.
And, dense plantings have additional benefits as well.
The thick covering of foliage helps conserve moisture in the soil, which means less watering chores for you.
Perhaps best of all, it saves enormously on purchasing mulch!
Filling Flowerbeds On The Cheap
And speaking of saving money, filling bed spaces doesn’t mean having to spend a fortune purchasing plants.
All of the flowerbeds around our farm have been filled entirely from transplanting and dividing.
And with a little over 1600 plants now, it has been a huge cost savings in plants, and for needing to purchase mulch! ( See : How To Create A Landscape On A Budget)
In fact, this spring, we created a whole new flowerbed with a little over 50 plants around our new cabin project. And all for free from dividing and transplanting.
Both early spring and fall are great times to divide and split the perennials in your landscape to create new plants.
Even better, some like daylily and hosta plants can even be dug up in the middle of summer. ( See Dividing Perennials In The Summer)
Mulching Plants – The Power Of Deep Mulching
Now that those beds are filled with plants, let’s talk about mulching the remaining areas.
One of the most common mistakes made when it comes to mulching flowerbeds is failing to put down enough mulch.
Placing down an inch or two of mulch around perennials, annuals and shrubs is simply not enough.
It won’t keep weed seeds buried in the soil below from germinating, nor will it keep seeds that blow in from finding a home either.
Mulch in flowerbeds should be kept at a minimum of 4″. And it should be applied in one single coat all at once.
A single, thick coating will do more to prevent weeds than multiple applications throughout the year. (And for more on that subject, see Choosing The Right Mulch For Your Landscape)
The depth is need to suppress existing weed seeds, and keep new seeds from easily finding soil.
Stop Turning That Mulch To Help Keep Flowerbeds Weed Free!
And finally, here might be the biggest tip of all to keep flowerbeds weed free all summer long: Stop turning that mulch!
Many gardeners like to stir up faded mulch every few weeks to freshen up the look of their beds.
So unfortunately, every time mulch is raked and turned, weed seeds are turned under towards the soil and “planted” as well.
On the surface, the seeds have little ability to germinate. But once turned under, they can easily find needed soil to sprout.
And the next round of weeds begin!
Happy Gardening! Jim and Mary.
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