Last year we had our annual strawberry party in the backyard and in order to get into the backyard I moved some pavers in on the path, some straw bales and newspaper. At first it was crazy puffy and it looked kind of weird but now it looks perfect. The newspaper and cardboard that I laid down has decomposed and then the straw is in various stages of decay and keeping the weeds down. This area was all gravel originally and we have taken most of it out now which is nice. I have been throwing leaves and then some of the straw into the raised beds to prevent weeds before I can dig them out. I need to add compost to the beds too but I can’t find the shovel!