One new technique we tried at St. Joseph’s is to cover the weeds and grass with a layer of newspaper – two layers thick. On top of that they put six inches of Top Soil Garden Mix. They put in the plants and then covered them with four inches of mulch. It will be interesting to see if any weeds get through those three layers.
Note – another person recommended using cardboard instead of newspaper and poking holes in the cardboard.
In the area shown, I had some weeds growing and I covered them up with either two layers of newspaper or 4 layers of newspaper or nothing at all. I then covered all areas with 3 1/2″ of compost.
Here are the results 2 months later – no weeds in any area. Also, when I dug up the area to see what happened to the newspaper, it had disappeared i n the 2 sheet area, and there was just a little bit left in the 4 sheet area.
Conclusion – I would probably put down just one layer of newspaper next time, just to push down the weeds. I would then cover them with a good compost and dirt mix which is available at St. Louis Composting.