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Newspaper weeds away! Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet the newspapers and put them in layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover the newspapers with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
Baking soda neutralizes the ph in the soil and nothing will grow there. use baking soda around all of the edges of flower beds to keep the grass and weeds from growing into beds. Just sprinkle it onto the soil so that it covers it lightly. Do this twice a year - spring and fall.