Heavily newspaper your garden beds before you put down mulch. Weeds cannot grow through the newspaper, and the decomposing paper feeds your soil. Best gardening tip I ever got! Especially if you then put landscape fabric on top of the newspaper.
All you need is a small amount of vertical space around a balcony or an open window which can hang or store a vertical array of drink bottles that can grow all your herbs and lettuce easily. Recycle as many of your plastic drink containers.