Last week when getting a supply of hay that I hope will finish off the winter, not likely, I asked about spoiled hay or straw from our hay man. He happened to have some spoiled straw, which is better than hay, and I made arrangements to acquire it. I brought in 4-5 bales, mostly full, and laid them down right away. The good thing about round bales, if they are in decent shape, is that you can roll them right down the garden paths. Roll them down as long as your walkways are big enough, which I had planned for when laid out are gardens upon moving to the farm.
Last winter we harvested a pile of wood chips left by tree trimmers, so now the pathways in both gardens were mulched in advance of the weed onslaught. The beds in the picture are about a foot high. I don’t know if a stitch in time saves nine, but I do know mulching in time saves a lot of weeding time. And if you search you can usually find free mulch.