Ask a Question forum: Weeds in my backyard. What should I do?

Views: 203, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
San Diego, CA
theace18
Feb 19, 2018 9:34 AM CST
Hi Everyone,

I need some advice on what I should do with my backyard.

First some background: about two years ago I hurt my back and was unable to work outside due to my injury. Fast forward to this December: I was able to get a team of landscapers out to take care of the two years of growth in my yard. They basically used weed whackers and chopped the weeds all the way down and removed all the brush.

About two weeks ago, We has some rain, and slew of new weeds have started sprouting. In addition to the new weeks, I also have the trimmed down stalks of weeds that the landscapers have left (see photos).

So my plan is to lay down some cardboard in between the mulch and the soil. However, how do I get rid of all those weeds? I've sprayed 3 times, but they won't die. Should I just scratch it and replace all the mulch and start a new? Thoughts??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thumb of 2018-02-19/theace18/bd61e7
Thumb of 2018-02-19/theace18/8e8336

Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
fwmosher
Feb 19, 2018 9:52 AM CST
Think about this for a moment. One can buy miss-matched 4' long asphelt/fibegerglass, roofing shingles, and "seconds" here in Canada for about.50 cent each at any building Supply House. Note: Get the newer style, without the slits/tabs in the shingles, otherwise, weeds will grow up through those slits. Have them put down wherever you want, cover with inexpensive "chrusher dust", bark, whatever. Cheers. PS. Nothing will grow through them in your or my lifetime.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Feb 19, 2018 10:00 AM CST
Welcome!

Looking at your pics, taking up the mulch would only be a start as the weeds have most likely sunk their roots well below the mulch.

Putting the cardboard down will eventually kill off the weeds. The cardboard will prevent sunlight from reaching the soil, thereby starving the weeds. You could also put down a black weed-block fabric mulch. It will do the same thing as the cardboard, but is easier to work with. Since it's a lightweight fabric, it will conform to the contours of the dirt and mulch better than the cardboard. It also is more permeable to water and air. Just using cardboard will create a run-off problem in heavy rains as the water won't pass through to the soil and your mulch will start to float.

Another, more labor intensive project would be...
- scrape up all of the mulch and store it in black plastic trash bags to re-use afterwards.
- spray with something like Bayer Advanced Brush Killer.
- wait a week and spray any stragglers.

Keep in mind though that that's a lot of chemicals going into your soil. Depending on whether or not you have children or pets, this may not be the safest route.

Best of luck!
San Diego, CA
theace18
Feb 19, 2018 11:11 AM CST
Thank you everyone. I heard the landscape fabric wasn't good because the soil underneath would be "unhealthy".

To be honest, everywhere there is mulch here, with the exception of the the plant beds, would be be mulch with a possibility of some fruit trees. So maybe landscape fabric would best.

All those old stubs of weeds have their old roots intertwined with all the mulch, so I may just rip it all out and re-mulch everything from scratch.

Thanks again for the advice!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Feb 19, 2018 12:42 PM CST
Instead of calling vegetation "weeds", it would be best to get identified.

Unfortunately, I think you have Bermuda.

I don't know how to kill Bermuda grass, it's about as bad as it gets.

As far as the soil being "bad" under the landscape fabric... Never heard that one.

Did a landscaper offer to bring in new soil after making that assertion?

I think you should mow or use a string trimmer on the grass until you decide what you want.

Insisting on a blank slate... Isn't usually a good long-term strategy.
San Diego, CA
theace18
Feb 19, 2018 2:54 PM CST
No. Just something I found on YouTube. They say that landscape fabric causes the the dirt underneath to become unhealthy and stink.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Feb 19, 2018 4:47 PM CST
That may be true if you cover the ground with plastic and no air gets through. However, landscape fabric is porous, allowing the exchange of both air and water.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Image
greene
Feb 19, 2018 7:15 PM CST
theace18 said:No. Just something I found on YouTube. They say that landscape fabric causes the dirt underneath to become unhealthy and stink.


The soil under my landscape fabric is healthy and does not stink. Thank you.

Lots of folks do not like landscape fabric for one reason or another. Some are adamant and downright...what's the word?...vehemently opposed to the stuff. All I can say is they either used the wrong product or did not properly prepare the soil before installing the fabric. (Not plastic!!)

As for myself, and I am speaking here as a handicapped person...if it were not for landscape fabric - and I am talking contractor grade, high-quality landscape fabric - if it were not for landscape fabric installed over a properly-prepared bed of soil, I would not have succeeded at gardening on any level.

Don't believe everything you see or read or watch on the internet.

You can do this!! Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
San Diego, CA
theace18
Feb 19, 2018 11:42 PM CST
greene said:

The soil under my landscape fabric is healthy and does not stink. Thank you.

Lots of folks do not like landscape fabric for one reason or another. Some are adamant and downright...what's the word?...vehemently opposed to the stuff. All I can say is they either used the wrong product or did not properly prepare the soil before installing the fabric. (Not plastic!!)

As for myself, and I am speaking here as a handicapped person...if it were not for landscape fabric - and I am talking contractor grade, high-quality landscape fabric - if it were not for landscape fabric installed over a properly-prepared bed of soil, I would not have succeeded at gardening on any level.

Don't believe everything you see or read or watch on the internet.

You can do this!! Thumbs up



Thank you! Just where would I find commercial grade landscaping fabric? I found some landscaping fabric on amazon that looks good. Rated really well. Not sure if it's commercial grade.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Feb 20, 2018 9:36 AM CST
Personally... I disagree with greene on this one.

putting down fabric just gives the really tough plants a better grip... they root through the fabric, and some types even grow up through the fabric... trying to pull stuff after it's rooted through the fabric is difficult. I've removed a lot of landscape fabric...

And...

that smelly soil under some people's fabric?
isn't bad, it just hasn't been getting air. that smell is anaerobic bacteria.

Again...
You need to get the vegetation identified...
trying to cover bermuda with mulch and hoping it dies... not gonna work.

Trying to dig bermuda... not gonna work... I've dug down 2 or 3 foot trying to get all the bermuda... can't be done.

Plastic doesn't work either.

as you've seen... the poison you've used hasn't worked.

Try the local extension service...
Or just get a battery powered string trimmer and keep it mowed....
and... don't water... maybe you might get a bad enough drought to kill it... but it is real drought hardy...

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Aloe Sinkatana"