Wish I knew this sooner...... The newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months. By that time, any grass and weed seeds that were present in the soil on planting will be dead. It’s green, it’s cheaper than fabric, and when you decide to remove or redesign the bed later on, you will not have the headache you would with fabric.
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. Worth a try since baking soda is cheap!