Review of Smart-Cover Weed-Suppressing Mulch

Late Spring is a lovely time in the garden. The caryopteris and the weigela are in full bloom.

A mass of self-seeded forget-me-knots throughout the borders was spectacular this year. They have now started to produce seed and I spent an hour pulling out many of the plants. New plants will emerge next year to create a great contrast to the tulip bulbs.

There are lots of flower borders in my garden and hand-weeding the weeds that spring up is a time-consuming task. I would rather spend time in a deckchair, so this season I have tried out a mulch that is new to me  - Grow-Sure Smart Ground Cover.

 It's marketed as a product that is superior to the bark chippings that I normally use and so far I am very pleased with its effectiveness. It goes further than bark chippings and is more attractive - the promise that it will look like freshly dug soil has proven true, and it is not spread around where I don't want it to be by the various marauding birds and neighbours cats who like to peck and prowl amongst the borders.
End of April - Immediately after laying mulch, before watering in
After watering in. Brilliant!

The mulch has been in place for around four weeks now and only a few weed seedlings have poked through, in places where I didn't spread the mulch thickly enough. I just spend a few minutes pulling them out during my evening patrol of the garden.

Late May -  after 4 weeks

  • Grow-Sure Smart Ground Cover is composed of wood fibres.
  • A downside is that I found this mulch more time-consuming to spread than bark, which can be simply tipped from the bag and spread with a fork.
  •  The instructions advise breaking up any clods of mulch in the bags. The mulch was all in clods! The technique that I developed was to tease the mulch apart with my fingers until it resembled cotton wool.
  •  It's advised to remove all weeds from the plot before mulching.
  •  After weeding, I watered the borders well and threw some fertilizer around the plants before spreading the mulch.
  • Once the mulch has been laid it has to be watered in to bond the wood fibres together into a mat. 
  • The manufacturer states that the mulch should be effective for several years

P.S. One Year Later

I am very impressed with the effectiveness of Grow-Sure Smart Ground Cover. Weeds have poked through only in a very few places where I didn't spread it thickly enough.  My garden is labour-intensive, as I have lots of borders and I would rather be sitting enjoying it than working, so I will be buying more of this product this year.