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Some mulch questions - do you / should you use fabric under mulch? Freshen or?

Some mulch questions - do you / should you use fabric under mulch? Freshen or?

Old 04-14-13, 08:31 AM
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Some mulch questions - do you / should you use fabric under mulch? Freshen or?

We used a bunch of the scotts dye mulch around our beds over the last couple years. I put down the weed guard fabric under the mulch to keep weeds from growing up from the dirt. Package says the fabric will last 5 - 10 - 15 years depending on the quality.

But now I am realizing - over the last year or 2, the mulch breaks down and effectively, you have soil above the weed guard fabric and I've seen stuff growing above the fabric!

Some questions:

Do you not use fabric?
Do you just keep adding mulch each year to make it look better or do you scrape away the existing mulch down to the fabric and start fresh again?
Or do you add another layer of fabric and over years will have layers of fabric, dirt, fabric, mulch?
Some areas get pine needles on top of the mulch - do you just put down new mulch or try to remove the pine needles?
Does Preen or something else help kill the weeds growing in the mulch that's breaking down?

Any thoughts or advice for me?

Old 04-14-13, 09:37 AM
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We have tried plastic, fabric, and nothing over the years, and my opinion is to dig out unwanted vegitation, fluff the area enough to loosen and remove any unwanted clumps, sprinkle some Preen, in order to stay ahead of any enthusiastic weed seeds, and lay down a minimum of 2-3" of mulch. No plastic or fabric. As for subsequent years, we have found that it varies by how much sun, water, or whatever the particular beds are subject to. Typically, we do not add mulch every year, instead just lightly fluffing it for a year or so in between, but that can vary, again by sun, rain, etc., as well as the composition of the resident soil.
Old 04-15-13, 03:21 AM
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I like to place newspaper under the mulch. It's fairly effective for blocking the weeds short term. Since it disintegrates over time there is no need to remove it when it's time to re mulch. Probably the only sure fire way to not have to deal with the weeds would be to hire a gardener

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