I mulched around the majority of my plants this year, but didn't complete the paths. I decided to do that this week-end since weeding was taking up lots of time. I ran short on straw, and decided to make do with what I had. Hopefully, layering the paths with thick layers of newspaper before laying the straw will help.
I didn't cover the remaining bale of straw, and it was damp in some areas. Take note, do not wear flip-flops while laying wet, rotted straw. You could take a topple. It's amazing how slippery it is when wet. Funny, I walked past two pair of garden boots while heading to the garden to lay the straw. I won't make that mistake again.
Hopefully, the newspaper will help with the weeds in the pathways since I wasn't able to thickly apply it. I'll be sure to buy at least 2 - 3 bales for the paths and plants this fall. I left my straw out to rot and ensure that all seeds sprouted or died before placing it in the garden. I've heard horror stories of gardeners using fresh straw/hay and it sprouting throughout the garden. Since I row garden, I'll toss the newspaper in the compost and till the straw under in the spring. All those weeds have made me want to add a cultivator to my list of gardening wants for next season, but at this point it's cheaper for me to use straw and newspaper. How do you keep your weeds down?