Do You Have To Pull Weeds Out Before Mulching

You must pull weeds out before mulching to establish a healthy garden. The best way to do so is to remove them when they are in the sprouting stage. That way, they won’t cause too much damage to your lawn and go undetected by the mulch you’re placing on top of it. 

Do You Need To Pull Weeds Before Mulching

When doing landscaping on your lawn, it’s better to remove the weeds before applying mulch. Removing the weeds beforehand will prevent them from growing underneath the mulch and becoming difficult to remove. Doing so will allow your mulch to spread evenly and not be obstructed by weeds or other debris in your lawn. 

Why You Should Remove Weeds Before Mulching?

Let’s face it, weeds in any lawn can be a hassle to remove. By removing them beforehand, you reduce the chances of it affecting your garden bed. For example, couch grass weeds are able to survive under the mulch and infect it by spreading rhizomes. 

If you don’t remove the weeds before applying mulch, your garden bed will be filled with both mulch and weeds. This makes it difficult to remove them, and you’ll have a more complex job at your hands. Plus, once you apply the mulch, it will be harder to see the weeds you need to remove from your garden!

How To Remove Weeds Before Mulching

Start by getting a garden edging tool so it can create a boundary. Doing so will help keep the grass and weeds from entering the previously cleared area.  

While sprouting weeds can be plucked easily, you might need more effort when dealing with established weeds. The established weeds require more pulling and the area needs to be sprayed with herbicides to prevent further weeds from regrowing. 

Before mulching, you’ll want to pull out every weed that’s in the area. Use a weed killer herbicide and place it inside a spray bottle. When spraying, make sure you wear safety goggles and gloves and apply them properly. Using a particle mask will prevent fumes from irritating your mouth or nose. 

Once the weeds are removed from the garden bed, you’ll want to place a pre-emergent weed killer on it. When applying it, make sure that it doesn’t affect the healthy plants lying around your garden. Before using it, check the label to ensure it works well for the plants and landscaping that’s within the application area or surrounding it. 

The weed killer will create a barrier in the soil and prevent newer weeds from the ground underneath the mulch layer. On average, this will last for approximately six months before it has to be reapplied. 

The space between the mulch layer and the plant base will give the plant air to breathe. This air circulation is crucial for plant growth, so don’t apply too much mulch between the plant’s stems. 

You can add a layer of fresh mulch to old mulch, but don’t go overboard. You only need 

2 inches of mulch for it to spread properly. When applying the mulch, it will prevent oxygen from entering the soil if it’s too thick.

An excessive amount of mulch will prevent the weeds from growing and kill off the plants. If you’ve added too much mulch, remove it slowly to thin it out. 



How Much Mulch Do I Need To Prevent Weeds?

First, you’ll need to measure the entire landscape of your lawn. This will help you determine how much mulch is needed to spread around your garden bed. Once you’ve found out how many bags of mulch you’ll need, you can go on to the next step. 

Next, you’ll need to have organic mulch that’s 2” deep. This keeps the weeds down and retains moisture. Plant roots will need oxygen to survive, and too much mulch might cause the roots to suffocate and make the water stay on the mulch instead of reaching the soil underneath it. 

How deep should you apply the mulch on your lawn? The answer to this will vary based on its type. For example, using fine mulch such as shredded hardwood; should only be 3” deep. If you’re using coarse-textured mulch like pine bark nuggets, they will go to 4” deep. 

Measure the square footage of your lawn. To do this, multiply the length and width if you have a rectangle or a square bed. If you have a round bed, then multiply your radius (distance from the edge to the middle of the garden bed), then multiply that by 3.14.

Remember, garden mulch is sold via cubic yards. A cubic yard of mulch can cover up to 324 square feet. (Formula: square feet x depth / 324 = cubic yards). With this formula, you’ll be able to get the right amount of mulch needed to get your mulch placed in your garden bed.  

​​Can I Just Put Mulch Over Weeds?

While this may seem like a great idea, you’re placing your plants and garden at risk. Some of the weaker weeds might die off, but you’re giving the stronger weeds the chance to grow from underneath the mulch. 

That’s why we suggest removing the weeds before applying them. If you place mulch over the weeds, you’re giving them enough room to grow and affect the plants and grass within your garden. When in doubt, always check your garden bed and remove any unnecessary weeds before proceeding to add mulch. 

What Happens If You Put Mulch On Top Of Weeds?

Putting mulch on top of weeds will only make your gardening job more difficult. Not only are you giving them a safe place to grow, but you’re also allowing the weeds to grow alongside the plants. 

When too much mulch is applied, you’re also taking the air out of the soil. This makes it harder for plants to grow and can die early. So make sure that the weeds are removed and sprayed with herbicide to keep your lawn in good condition.  

What Mulch Should I Use For My Garden?

Different forms of mulch are used for different purposes and situations. For example, wooden mulch doesn’t decompose as fast as other mulch forms. This makes them a great solution if you want a more permanent mulch on your garden bed. 

The only drawback is that they won’t break down quickly and won’t provide your garden with the nutrients it needs. Also, wood chips can absorb the nitrogen in your soil, making it harder for your plants to grow. 

Use organic mulch if you want a natural and effective boost to your garden. Use organic material such as grass, hay, and leaves. However, don’t use mulch that’s been affected by pesticides. This will damage and ruin your garden. Also, if you have hay that has seeds with it, you’ll notice wheat randomly sprouting out of your garden!

That being said, you’ll want to watch out for non-organic mulch. Their main issue is that they don’t look appealing. To solve this, place them down as a base, then add the organic mulch above it. 



To achieve the best results, you should pull weeds out before mulching. Not only does this help with maintaining the garden’s soil quality, but it also protects your plants nearby. By doing so, you’ll give your garden room to grow and keep it safe from suffocating your plants. 

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