To Kill or not to Kill, that is the question! - Knowledgebase Question

McKinleyville, CA
Question by abquilts
June 3, 2010
I don't want to be a pest, but your advice is crucial to this 75 year old wanting to scale down the workload in her garden. I have planted Isatoma in my front yard. I've loved it for years, but this has been a particularly massive weed year, and I don't want to spend all my life pulling weeds! So, I am in the process of 'roundup' spraying. I've done half of the yard, now I wonder if I can get away from having to spray the other half. I am planning on covering the sprayed part with weed cloth. If I don't spray the other half, and cover it also, will it die with 2 layers of cloth plus redwood chips, and stepping stones? If I can get away from having to spray the other half, then I can do the whole front yard at one time. Is that doable,or am I just whistling Dixie!

Thanks for you great advice.


Answer from NGA
June 3, 2010


I'd like to be able to tell you to go ahead with your plan to simply cover over the ground cover, but I'd have nightmares for years and years. All the covered plants will need is a tiny rip or hole in the weed barrier fabric and it will begin to grow. While the weed barrier and mulch material might kill the tops, the roots will simply explore the soil and pop up at random. Eventually it will grow beyond the bounds of the weed barrier, find an easy place to pop up, and yell Eureka! Then look out. With an extensive root system the plant will grow like a demon and you may never be able to contain it. Round Up is expensive and laborious to apply but once you do, you'll kill the plant, roots and all and you can cover it up with weed barrier and mulch and it will simply decompose without a whimper. You have such a wonderful sense of humor I'll bet you can talk a neighbor into helping with the project. Hope so, and best wishes with your new landscape!

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