If you remember my blog last year about using wood shavings -
http://mountaingardengleanings.blogspot.ca/2011/09/shavings.html , one of the uses were for a groundcover. This year, we decided to buy some landscape fabric and cover the rest of the area in the back that is home to our small fruits (grapes, raspberries, saskatoons, blueberries, rhubarb and kiwi). The newspapers I used last year are still working in the one row I tried but they probably won't last for many years. With the landscape cloth and the shavings, I hope to have very little weeding back there.
First thing we did was do a good weeding and raked the area so it was basically level.
You can see the weeds between the grape arbor - they do have a tendency to get away from us. Hopefully this will be the solution to that problem.
The fabric we bought allows water through it so we laid the drip hoses on top of the fabric and shavings so we can monitor it. We found the drip line did not work well as the tiny holes would plug up so we added nozzles that mist the row. We cut holes in the fabric where the plants were growing and then covered the whole thing with a thick layer of shavings.
We worked on one length at a time and kept the shavings away from the edge so we could overlap the next length.
When we finished one row, we continued onto the next. At the ends we place slabs of wood to hold the shavings in and to cover the ends of the fabric. That way we can extend the area if we need to. We are thinking about added some raised beds for strawberries and such and think that we will do it in that area of the yard.
We hauled many, many loads of shavings on the van and the job took us several weeks to complete but it was worth the end product. Doesn't it look nice? It seems nice to as we got a variety of shavings - fir, pine, spruce and cedar.
Next year we will redo the row I did last year with the newspaper and continue out that side of the patch. :)