Wet newspapers and put layers around the plants overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspaper. Good composting!
Natural Weed Killer 1 gallon vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, dash of dish washing detergent (makes it stick to the weeds). Mix well, spray on weeds in the morning, rejoice in their death that evening. This works best on a sunny day.
wow, what an incredible deck transformation / before and after - just adding some stones, dirt, and plants really make a difference.
Dry creek bed as downspout extension | step by step instructions