I have mulched with well-rotted wood chips before but I never seem to get a deep enough layer on to stop weeds germinating. I have an area of newly-planted shrubs where I'd like to reduce the weeding for the rest of the year. Would thick newspaper (several sheets) with woodchips over the top be okay? Would the newspaper layer stop rain getting to the soil?
Newspaper would be fine, though personally I'd put it under the woodchip. I first saw it used in in Australia where it was recommended as it helps to retain water as well as stopping weeds. I used it there in a friend's garden putting down a thick layer under her poor soil. It worked very well as a soil improver as well as water retainer and weed preventer
Thanks Oak, I'll do that if it ever stops raining.