There is never down time in the garden. With spring looming ahead in just a few months, which is the time when I do 75% of my garden work, now is a good time to put down mulch. This will help prevent weeds in the spring. There are many types of mulch. They all eventually degrade to compost, and have to be replaced every few years. The slowest to degrade is cedar hog fuel, which is what we put down between our raised beds. This is best for areas such as walkways, where you want absolutely nothing to grow. Bark dust, on the other hand, (either fir or my favorite hemlock), is better for garden beds–because it is of a finer texture, and it’s easier to work with when you want to plant something. It also looks more natural.
Hog fuel takes a long time to break down. I just started having a lot of problems with weeds this year between my raised beds, so we decided to add a new thick layer. The last time we did this was 6 years ago. I removed all of the weeds first. I spread it extremely thick—like 6 inches. It will compact down as it is walked on. We put down a total of 15 cubic yards.