I tried it years ago, I've seen it done in many places and while I can't say it never works, but I know mine didn't and many that I have seen end up full of weeds. For me, chemical control works best. I keep my rose bed weed free using Caseron (I think Preen would also work well) These do not kill weeds but prevent weeds from coming through the soil. The do not harm shrubs, trees, or other plants as long as the surface of the ground is not disturbed. I usually apply it once a year at the most. If I break the surface, I might get a lone weed or two, but they are easily pulled. On other areas that I want to keep bare, I find about 3 applications of Round-Up to work well. Round-Up only kills growing plants, that why the repeat applications are required. I've seen ads on a new Round-Up that is supposed to prevent weeds from coming up, but I have not read up on it as of yet. Besides, I have a pretty good supply of the other on hand. Caseron is just broadcast by hand. Round-Up is sprayed with a hand sprayer. Once you have the weeds under control..as much as weeds are ever under control.. it's not difficult to keep the areas clean.