Yesterday, we completed an experiemnt that was a complete success. Several years ago I read about someone who had totally filled the paths between their raised beds with wood chips. After the chips composted, he shoveled the composted chips into the raised beds.
Two years ago we decided to see what would happen if we did just that. We filled the paths with almost two feet of wood chips. We were amazed at how well it worked. For two years those chips lay in the paths. We had tossed weeds on top of the chips and let them compost and I am certain that the composted manure we put on the garden beds probably ran into the composting wood chips as well helping the wood chips break down.
As we dug, there were earth worms in every shovel full. Because it was compost and had been raining, it was really easy to dig the path and toss on top of bed. We have twenty plus paths left to go, but because some beds are reserved for summer planting, we still have time to shovel some each day.
The plastic in the picture to the left and right are silage tarps and old billboard cloth. We place those over the soil in winter to stop the weeds. It is a major time saver for us. You can see some weeds to the left of the row where we did not have enough tarp to cover the entire garden. We buy our row cover and silage tarps from https://farmersfriendllc.com