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Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 11, 2021 7:28 PM CST
CA
Hi all,

This is so specific, I can't seem to Google it, so hoping maybe somebody here may be able to help me out...?

Without trying to describe my whole landscaping plan, my situation is that there will be rather large swaths of area of just only bark mulch. For weed barrier ideas, such as fabric, I keep seeing "it still allows water/nutrients, etc. to get into the soil". Therefore, I'm assuming that this is considered advantageous for what is likely the majority of peoples' purposes: creating areas of mulch in their yards which will have interspersed flowers/plants in it?? In my case, I don't want or need this under any of the mulch areas correct?? I am assuming so and therefore trying to find out the best type of layering I can do to prevent ANY growth in those areas.

I greatly appreciate anyone's help and please let me know if I should clarify anything or give more details.

Thank you! Smiling -SE
Avatar for RpR
Jul 11, 2021 7:37 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
The only way to totally stop growth would be spray the area with vegetation kill, OFTEN.
Same way railroads keep track ways weed free.

There is no other way, as you may have seen, weeds come up in the cracks of highway; weeds will find a way to get in. I tip my hat to you.
Last edited by RpR Jul 11, 2021 7:48 PM Icon for preview
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Jul 11, 2021 7:45 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cement?

But from your post it seems you want "large swaths of bark mulch" ?

Put down the mulch and then spray regularly with an herbicide.
β€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
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Jul 12, 2021 7:31 AM CST
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
but to answer - it is still advantageous to have water, etc. pass through to the underlying soil otherwise you end up with standing water or pools and puddles. I like the idea of landscaping fabric far more than the actual thing - most DIY's do not install it correctly, it is not a cure-all for weeds. You will still have weed seeds sprouting from the mulch you spread but the can generally be easily pulled as their roots are necessarily shallow. Herbicides can also be used as others suggest but I'd reserve those and use only when necessary.
I find myself most amusing.
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Jul 12, 2021 12:44 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Keep up a good mulch layer and weeds will be minimal.
Plant it and they will come.
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 3:51 PM CST
CA
Hi everyone, can someone please tell me how we reply to each person's answer? I don't see a "reply" option in the responses. (Or am I just losing it completely?? 😳) TY!
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Jul 12, 2021 5:52 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
If you tap quote at the bottom of the person's post, you get a new box with their post and you can reply to it there. Then post that, and go back and hit quite on another post If you like..etc.
These threads are just one string so to speak.
Plant it and they will come.
Last edited by sallyg Jul 13, 2021 5:44 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 11:00 PM CST
CA
Hi RpR, I hope I'm replying in the right spot here... I guess I'll see after I post this! Just wanted to say thanks for your input on this- I appreciate it! Yes, weeds are certainly determined little buggers aren't they? I forgot about them being able to come up through cement! I also hadn't thought about spraying an herbicide on the mulch. I'm working on transitioning as much both indoors and out to sustainable/eco-friendly but I see they have "green" versions, so that's good for me to know! Thanks and have a pleasant week! Smiling
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 11:04 PM CST
CA
Got it! Thank you sallyg!
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 11:11 PM CST
CA
Actually, you got it on the cement idea Wheedwhacker- one area I need to do this with is the side of our yard where bedroom windows are and neighbors are right next to that so there's nothing it can be used for. Planning on having cement put in but can't afford it yet. And yep- I'm going to look into (eco-friendly) herbicides if I get a reasonable amt of weeds popping thru!

Thanks for your input!
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 11:23 PM CST
CA
Hey JBarstool! (great user name there πŸ˜†) Thank you, yes that was mainly my concern and standing water is something that I had not thought of (probably because I don't remember what it looks like anymore living here in California lol! Ugh.) I'm not sure what you meant by "I like the idea of landscaping fabric far more than the actual thing". If you have a moment to clarify? Also, you mention "most DIY don't install it correctly". Thx for the heads-up- I'll be sure to research that! Re herbicide, I'm with you on using it only occasionally. I'll only use an eco-friendly one if I do- I'm redoing the yards for the very purpose of trying to live more sustainably Smiling Thanks!!
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 12, 2021 11:29 PM CST
CA
Thanks sallyg and phew! That's hopeful! πŸ˜„ I'll see how it goes! Thx again for your help with navigating. (I now think I've screwed up my thumbs-upping to folks. Why is this hard? I feel like an idiot πŸ˜†πŸ˜³)
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Jul 13, 2021 5:45 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
SEinCali said:Thanks sallyg and phew! That's hopeful! πŸ˜„ I'll see how it goes! Thx again for your help with navigating. (I now think I've screwed up my thumbs-upping to folks. Why is this hard? I feel like an idiot πŸ˜†πŸ˜³)



You're doing just fine! Thumbs up Thumbs up
Plant it and they will come.
Avatar for CalPolygardener
Jul 13, 2021 7:03 AM CST
California (Zone 9b)
If you're in SoCal a layer 2-3" deep will stop most weeds, except the tough perennials, as long as you don't irrigate those areas. As you note, lack of rain/irrigation is a great herbicide. Hilarious!
We have large areas in parking lots with no irrigation and a thick layer of mulch which have very few weeds except in winter.
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Jul 13, 2021 7:14 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
SEinCali said:I'm not sure what you meant by "I like the idea of landscaping fabric far more than the actual thing".

Re herbicide, I'm with you on using it only occasionally. I'll only use an eco-friendly one if I do- I'm redoing the yards for the very purpose of trying to live more sustainably Smiling



As mentioned above... landscape fabric... seems like a good idea... but in practice... my experience is that they create more work than solve.

partly due to plants germinating on top of the fabric, but mostly due to Perennials coming up through the fabric... when we put the fabric on top of the live roots...

I've had pretty good luck with wall to wall carpet... I guess that outdoor carpet would work too...

Never heard of an Eco-friendly herbicide...

I'm with sallyg... keep re-applying mulch, and the plants won't be able to get ahead of you.
Avatar for tantefrancine
Jul 13, 2021 7:49 AM CST
Falls Church, VA
Birds Roses Garden Procrastinator Plumerias Peonies Region: Mid-Atlantic
Irises Hellebores Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Photography Bookworm
I tried with weed barriers--thick ones, and 2 inches of mulch. It did not work--also due to at some places the landscape company that I had hired put less than 2 inches (The company thought 2 inches mulch plus weed barrier was enough) All the roots of weeds were growing under the weed barriers, and since the mulch has become soil, and I did not add more mulch, other weeds grew on top as well, and it was a mess. It took a lot of work to remove them, especially where I had added more shredded mulch, and all has become a thick layer of soil with lots of weeds.

From several lectures that I have attended, and also from books, the only way is to cover the areas that you want to be covered with mulch is to wet layers of newspapers (do not use shiny nor colored paper) or use cardboard (take out the plastic tapes, but most importantly is to cover the area with 6 to 8 inches deep of large bark mulch---the mulch will not turn into soil easily--- and you will have to add more when the mulch layers get thinner. It has to be at least 6 inches deep.
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Jul 13, 2021 8:50 AM CST
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
SEinCali said:Hey JBarstool! (great user name there πŸ˜†) I'm not sure what you meant by "I like the idea of landscaping fabric far more than the actual thing".
...(snip)...If you have a moment to clarify?


First - thanks, I have a friend who first called me Barstool years ago as a bastardization of my middle name; Barstow. My propensity to have a beer or a glass of wine here or there made it apt and it has followed me all these years.

What I meant was that the idea of a membrane that effortlessly prevents all weeds, etc. is enticing. But the reality is that no membrane really does that - they all end up with debris in the mulch above that sprouts weeds, they shift and noxious things like bindweed will always find a way out. Better as a concept than application.
I find myself most amusing.
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 13, 2021 8:44 PM CST
CA
Oh good! πŸ˜„Thanks!!
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 13, 2021 8:52 PM CST
CA
Thank you CalPolygardener! I'm in the South Bay Area, so pretty similar weather... ok good to hear that. And I certainly don't mind plucking a couple weeds every few days- any time spent outside is fine with me! Smiling thanks for your input- I appreciate it!!
Avatar for SEinCali
Jul 13, 2021 9:09 PM CST
CA
Hi stone- it certainly is a LOT of work to be putting the fabric down! As a 54 yr old woman though, I'm using it as a way to get a workout on the lower bod 😁.

I initially have killed off the weeds by covering them in cardboard for like 3 mos and am now in process of putting down the w.b. fabric with the tanbark on top... thanks about the carpet idea! That should certainly work too! Re the eco-friendly herbicides, I just Googled that and a bunch of stuff came up. Now I'll look into the basic science of it and read reviews in the case of store-bought products. Thanks!!

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