This weekend we finished covering most of our pathways between beds with woodchips. Last year Tim had found (at a local recycle place) some plastic stuff that's meant to go under cement. He cut it into widths the size of the walkways and put it down to act as a weed & mud barrier. It worked well. After our "trial" period, we finished most of the garden that way. After we ran out of the plastic, we used leftover roof shingles to act as our weed barrier on the rest of the paths.
The City of Fort Collins had advertised wood mulch at $5 a load this weekend, so Tim took four trips to pick up four loads of the stuff. It's nice, and we've got lots of it. It turned out to be two different batches, and therefore two different colors, but I think that in time they'll all look the same. The garden will be so much nicer this year with the pathways covered and the weeds easier to control. There will still be weeds at the edges and in the beds, but they'll be much easier to handle than the ones that took over on the pathways. Our other experiment with weeds will be a flame weeder we got. We should be able to use that for weeds outside of the bed areas.
We're still looking for cheap, recycled materials to frame more of the beds. At this point, it looks like that will have to wait. If they don't get framed before planting, they won't get framed!