Tips to Prevent Weeds and Erosion in Your Garden Beds

Posted on: 20 September 2019

Bare soil in the yard can pose all sorts of problems. Not only are weeds more likely to take over any bare patch of ground, erosion and a poor appearance are also concerns. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to prevent these issues, and they don't require planting or maintaining extensive ground cover. The following guide can help you solve this issue.

Switch to perennials

Bare ground in many yards is a seasonal issue. mid to late fall, winter, and early spring are the times when an empty bed is likely to be a problem. By switching to perennials, you can ensure there is something covering and anchoring the soil at all times. Instead of annual flowers, opt for perennials like mums or peonies. Add in a healthy mix of ornamental bunchgrasses — not only do these require minimal care, their dried leaves provide winter interest while anchoring the soil and shading out weed growth. If you really love the look of annuals, reserve these for flower pots and baskets, or plant a few between the perennial anchor plants in your garden.

Utilize landscaping fabric

Landscaping fabric, sometimes called geotextile fabric, is laid over the top of the soil to prevent weed growth and erosion. This fabric is designed so water can pass through from above, but it won't easily evaporate out. Further, the tight weave prevents weeds from growing through the fabric. Landscaping fabric works best in beds with perennials, since each hole that is cut through it for a desired plant weakens its weed-blocking ability. If you plan to grow a few annuals each year, use a stake to mark the holes you cut at the end of the season. This way, you can just plant in the same fabric holes each year.

Cover beds with mulch

Landscaping mulch is one of the best ways to keep your beds looking great. In most beds, organic mulch like wood chips and bark nuggets are best. They are attractive and often heavy enough not to blow out of the bed. You can get them in natural shades, or you can opt for dyed mulch in shades ranging from red to black. A 2-inch layer over landscaping fabric solves most weed issues. In beds where you don't use fabric, a 3- to 4-inch layer over bare soil can prevent weed and erosion issues. You can even till the decomposed mulch into the soil every few years to improve the soil's quality. A mulch service can deliver just the amount you need.