Mulch in vegetable garden?
I have visited here before (a few years ago) but we've since moved and I'm just now able to start gardening at our home. I plan to put in a vegetable garden (possibly raised beds, but have to see if DH will have time to help me with construction.) I read that you should mulch the garden to help retain water and prevent weeds, but I have a silly newbie question. Since some of my plants will be started outdoors from seed, do I wait until the seeds sprout and the plants are well established before mulching around them? If I just cover the entire bed with mulch first, will the seeds be able to push up through that?
I also saw somewhere that you could put down a thick layer of newspapers to kill weeds and then mulch over that. Is that something you recommend? And again, same question about the seeds pushing up through it? Doesn't make sense that they would be able to, but I'm a newbie.
And last question, how thick a layer of mulch do you use in the garden? I'm planting vegetables, herbs and some flowers...sunflowers (to harvest the seeds, hopefully), nasturtium, marigold around the tomatoes, etc. I found a place near me that sells mulch by the cubic yard (natural for $27/cu yd and cedar for $30/cu yd.) Which type do you recommend?
Thank you so much! I appreciate the input!