All Things Gardening forum: Weed/root stop help?

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Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Apr 22, 2012 7:45 AM CST
I've started a new bed in front of the bay window of our house. I dug about 2' down and about 2-4' across (yes, that's a lot of dirt). Our soil is caliche and clay so I'm starting with all new soil.

I put landscape fabric in the bottom but I'm at a loss what to put along the sides. We have a couple of trees and tons of weeds and centipede grass, so I don't want those to get into my bed. What can I use to deter unwanted growth?

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 22, 2012 11:37 AM CST
Can't you just run the fabric up the sides of the bed?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Apr 22, 2012 11:39 AM CST
I'm not sure it will keep the mesquite and live oak from poking through and suckering like they have been.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 22, 2012 12:16 PM CST
Ewwwww, tree type roots? I think you're doomed! Rolling my eyes. However, if it were me doing it, I think I'd line and overlap just the edges with heavy black plastic, then drape the landscape cloth over the whole thing (think lining a pool Smiling ), then lay rocks or bricks over the plastic and landscape cloth as an edging. I did something similar on an area in my front yard, where I have cottonwood trees and industrial strength weeds and grass, and it worked quite well!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Apr 22, 2012 12:38 PM CST
That may work perfect for what I'm thinking. I was going to use some brick pavers to edge the bed so that will work for keeping the weeds out too. Big Grin Sounds like a winner!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 22, 2012 1:13 PM CST
Hope it works out for you! I'd recommend making sure that the area you're covering with the pavers is completely covered with plastic, too. Grass especially is really sneaky about lurking in the cracks of pavers and stealthily creeping into flower beds. Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 22, 2012 8:55 PM CST
Wow, you sure did a lot of work there! I've gone the other route, and conceded victory to my live oak roots. Three huge trees around the house, so there just are tree roots everywhere. I manage to grow stuff by sinking big nursery pots into the soil and planting my shade-lovers in the pots. It takes several years for the tree roots to invade the pots, then I just take cuttings or divisions and re-pot.

Keep us posted, it's going to look really lovely! Good luck.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Apr 23, 2012 6:45 AM CST
Discussed with DH and we've decided to actually build up a few extra inches so he can weedwhack that much easier.

Looks like I'll need more dirt! Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Apr 28, 2012 3:59 AM CST
Good grief. Weed barrier cloth also stops perennial roots. Its a problem no matter how you approach it. Good luck.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Apr 28, 2012 5:44 AM CST
I've never used the stuff myself. But I've followed an online soil forum for years and seen a lot of horror stories about it.
- doesn't block roots for long
- falls apart
- comes up in tiny gross shreds for years, etc.

I don't know what the ideal solution might be, but I don't think I'd use landscape cloth. I guess I'd line it with several layers or cardboard and hope for the best. For the trees, getting rid of the trees might be the only solution.

Karen
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 28, 2012 8:08 AM CST
Well, I do have one small area that's covered with landscape cloth topped with bark. I haven't had anything grow up through it, but a few volunteers from above (a couple of pansies and, grrr, a couple of clumps of grass) have managed to grow on top of it. So it has worked pretty well for me for about 8 years. I think if it's exposed to the light, it may deteriorate like Karen says, tho.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
May 2, 2012 4:10 PM CST
The landscape cloth is/will be a couple of feet under dirt.

I'm thinking I should have had a load trucked in. Ugh!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
May 3, 2012 1:41 PM CST
I found a guy today to dig out and replace my grass in backyard where "the great flood of neighbors' wall" occurred. He's doing work for others on our street. He's even picking up, and including the price of grass and soil amendments....and he's coming back to trim all the trees! If you need dirt, he gets his from Geo Growers. Has big truck with large trailer. Seemed reasonable too.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
May 3, 2012 3:47 PM CST
Sandi, Geo Growers is where I had the 4 cubits of rose dirt picked up. The lovely ladies in their office even gave me a Dripping Springs Adpages 20% coupon and saved me about $80 that day. Of course, I went back there and bagged my own veggie garden soil - 50+ bags, but cheaper than delivery...that's the painful part. It was $150 for the load to get delivered here.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
May 3, 2012 7:02 PM CST
This guy is recommended by King Ranch grass, and Geo, and a few other places. We'll see....
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
May 3, 2012 9:55 PM CST
Hopefully he's as good as the rec's!!!

Want me to bring by your new plants tomorrow? One manfreda and one stapelia! Anything else I can bring along?

Sprayed my pepper spray right into my own eye. Daggumit that stuff works!

I should be able to plant stuff in the new beds this weekend. Woo hoo!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
May 3, 2012 10:57 PM CST
Sure! I'll be digging holes for the brugs out back. The tree guys might be coming to start tomorrow sometime, so we'll be around. Don't forget I have a butterfly vine for you. Do you need any more salvia cuttings. I didn't get around to cutting them back yet. Remind me to give you a few orchids. They aren't happy here and want to leave.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
May 4, 2012 9:04 AM CST
It may be afternoon till I can get there. DH broke his work laptop yesterday and since he doesn't have a work outlet is being obnoxious. Big Grin
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
May 4, 2012 9:13 AM CST
if we take off later, I'll tree-mail you.

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