Northern Gardening forum: Killing grass under new flower beds

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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Sep 20, 2016 3:04 PM CST
Does anyone know if using packing paper like you would get at Uhaul will kill grass like using newsprinted paper will. I was wondering if it is the ink in the paper that does the job. I don't have enough of that but tons of wrapping paper. Then I put thick cardboard over the top then the new soil. Any input is really useful
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Sep 21, 2016 8:15 AM CST
As I understand it----it is the cutting off of light to the grass which kills it.
The packing paper should do it.
But eventually the grass might grow back through paper, so the cardboard will hold it from growing.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Sep 21, 2016 11:04 AM CST
that's what I am thinking, plus we are putting 3.5CY of dirt on top of all that. I am buying visqueen rather than landscape fabric to line the edges. It will go about 6" over the top of the surrounding brick, then tuck in and over the cardboard for about 12". That should seal out any grass from the outside and also any grass on the edges of the inside. It should work. Will find out next summer. lol Thanks Caroline.

My peonies from Holland just arrived this morning about 10 minutes ago. yeah
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Sep 22, 2016 5:56 AM CST
Peonies from Holland!
I looked at ordering, but shipping and sanitary certificates was just too expensive.
One of these years I will order some right from Holland.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Sep 22, 2016 9:53 AM CST
You really aren't going to save anything and frankly you can probably find most of them right here. But they did have some heirloom ones I wanted for our botanical garden. The freight was around $100 and the phyto was about the same on top of the cost of the peonies. I checked the price of each one and while one or two was significantly lower, on average not enough to make it worth the extra cost. Where you would really make out would be on a bulk order like they do at cubits. Their volume discounts are great. And they do have some plants rather unique to them as they also hybridize some of their own. Plus they are simply all around nice guys. Hilarious!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Sep 22, 2016 12:38 PM CST
Oberon46 said:Does anyone know if using packing paper like you would get at Uhaul will kill grass like using newsprinted paper will. I was wondering if it is the ink in the paper that does the job. I don't have enough of that but tons of wrapping paper. Then I put thick cardboard over the top then the new soil. Any input is really useful

What kind of grass?

IF it is quackgrass, it will be back.

I buried some under two-feet of mostly clay nest to a retainin wall I put in two years ago and it showed its ugly head this summer.
Some went under the wall and some came up next to the wall.

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Sep 22, 2016 3:30 PM CST
Nope, just regular old grass grass. Hilarious!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 7, 2016 7:08 PM CST
Mary, I just saw this... but I think any sort of paper or cardboard will work the same as the newsprint; I think most of the ink that's used in newsprint anymore is a nontoxic soy ink. Smiling
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Oct 8, 2016 11:00 AM CST
Good think because it is a done deal. dirt covering it, plants planted, moose fence partially erected plus got a shipment of more lilies to go in. Hilarious! I would say I was committed. Thanks
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Oct 8, 2016 11:17 AM CST
Mary Stella ...

I don't know the climate ... but do you get a lot of moisture ? Is it a humid climate ?

If not, I have found that peat dries like concrete and is one of the best weed barriers I have ever used under my rock borders. Yes, I put down the newspapers and cardboard first and eventually the grasss ... crab grass and wild violets broke through, but once I topped it with peat, I've never had to go back and weed, even when we had a wet winter. I've never even had to renew the peat for several years. However, my summer temps are blistering hot and that peat dries right back to a concrete consistency.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 8, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Interesting. I made the mistake of planting potatoes in felt pots using peat. It dried to concrete on top and didn't let any moisture get through to the roots. They just died off. Would worry a little about that. So it dries up, keeps out weeds, but allows moisture through. We are supposed to be a rather dry place though you couldn't prove it by me. I think the all but constant over cast fools us into thinking it rains all the time. Not so. I would definitely not consider us humid. That is an interesting thought. Mulch, ground up wood chips - nothing works. I dug out weeds, put down cardboard, mulched, and within a month had a nice crop of chickweed growing. D'Oh! And it is all but impossible to use a weed shuffler to dig that up.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Oct 8, 2016 11:44 AM CST
Exactly. In archaeological digs, they have found perfectly preserved artifacts in dried peat layers. Also, peat "bricks" are used for fuel for winter fires to heat homes in some countries.

I found in my garden I simply cannot use small wood chips for mulch in my garden beds because they form a crust and do not allow water to penetrate down to the soil and anything I have planted would have died had I not notice that the plants were not looking good and investigated. I was shocked when I pulled the "mulch" away from my newly planted starts for my ground cover.

The plants had filled in the space I had left for the "crown and then were slowly dying because they were not getting enough moisture from my watering. The "mulch" had formed a solid crust and no moisture was reaching the soil. It was totally dry even after twenty minutes of overhead watering of that small bed.

Drip watering in a bed similarly mulching was totally unsuccessful, too. That's what gave me the idea to try peat as a weed barrier in this climate. No, I have NEVER read anything about this anywhere. It's just one of my crazy experiments .... Rolling my eyes.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 8, 2016 12:28 PM CST
but back to original question after my experience with the potato pots. It does allow moisture through.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

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