A couple years ago when I created a walking path through my garden, I put down black plastic and covered it with wood chips. The chips are now breaking down and forming a compost that is spouting weeds and plants in the path. If I remove the growth and replenish the wood chips, I’m afraid the same thing will keep happening. Grass is not an option due to the confined area. Do you have any other suggestions for a natural path?
In our opinion, a plastic weed barrier should not be used under an organic mulch. This is especially true if a shredded wood mulch is used, as these mulches tend to break down fairly quickly.
This generally does not pose a problem when used as a mulch around trees and shrubs. In fact, the decomposition of the shredded bark aids in improving the soil. The mulch itself is an effective weed barrier if it is replenished regularly and maintained at a depth of 3 to 4 inches.
The plastic weed barriers are useful in preventing weeds under inorganic mulches such as pea gravel or crushed stone. Perhaps these could be considered for your pathway. Another option to consider would be decorative stepping stones.