Ask a Question forum: 2 part question on weeds!

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Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 25, 2018 12:09 PM CST
Hey everyone, I've had a MAJOR weed problem in my backyard for a couple years, so I just created an account here to try to address it.

First, the weeds are growing through the tarp and laval rock I had placed. I just got done pulling out a majority of the weeds, but they got so bad that there's still a ton of little tiny weeds still rooted in the ground. Is there anything I can do BESIDES just try to go in and pull them all out individually? (this would take weeks) Is there some kind of chemical or something that I could disolve them with?

Secondly, how do I prevent them from coming back? I've tried spraying several times, they always come back, very heavily no matter what. I think the soil is just saturated with seeds and they seem to come through no matter what. They grew through the tarp and rocks already, is there a way to just completely "nuke" everything? I dont have any lawn back there, and no bushes really, just the rock. I 'd like to put some trees and bushes once I get the weeds under control though, Thanks
[Last edited by axis_d - Jun 25, 2018 12:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jun 25, 2018 12:16 PM CST
You could try to solarize the area - put a plastic tarp over the rock and let the sun kill the weeds. Then perhaps increase the depth of the lava rock. The problem with an underlying tarp or weed cloth is that once weeds pierce the tarp, it is difficult (as you are finding) to pull the weeds because their roots are below the tarp.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 25, 2018 12:53 PM CST
Not my first choice, but a glyphosate herbicide (Roundup clone) won't dissolve them but will kill them. More powerful herbicides can sterilize the soil, but then you would not be able to grow anything there for a year or more - not a good idea.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 25, 2018 1:13 PM CST
What kind of weeds are you dealing with? The barrier between the soil and the rocks is your biggest culprit as it is protecting the weeds from everything you try to do to them, including pulling them.

As Bonehead suggested, covering the area with black plastic will kill the weeds, especially if the temps continue to be in the 100's. It will take a couple months and then the micro-organisms in the soil will have to be replaced also.

It you get rid of the weed barrier, you could use Preen (a pre-emergent). After a certain point (when the weeds have formed seed heads), its too late for herbicides.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 25, 2018 3:52 PM CST
Rocks tend to make a great germination medium...
You should see the flower seedlings come up in the pebble pathways...

Once we have seedlings rooting through the cloth, it's time to take up the cloth.

It would help us give better advise to know specifically what plants you have... Nuttin named "weed" except that stuff they're smokin.

Usually a fresh layer of mulch in the garden prevents tiny seedlings, and shades out the ones that we have.

Unfortunately, rocks aren't real good mulch... If it's wet enough for seeds to germinate.

Is it raining there? Do you have a sprinkler?
Unless you keep the rocks dry... I doubt that you are ever going to be happy with what you have.

Check out some organic mulches, like wood chips... Or hay, straw...
Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 25, 2018 4:57 PM CST
Yeah I should be clear, the weeds back there are dead now, because of the heat. But anytime it rains they pop right up like crazy. So I take it solarizing wouldn't apply in this situation? Is my best plan to take all the rock out and cover it in mulch, then put the rocks back?

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 25, 2018 5:35 PM CST
If your weeds are dead, there's nothing you can do about them this year except maybe burn them down with a garden flame thrower.

Its either rocks or mulch and personally, it doesn't matter which. You already have the rocks. Its the landscape fabric under the rocks that is the problem. Weeds can grow through it but can't be pulled through it. Your best option for future weed control is get rid of the fabric and use Preen every 3 months. It binds with the water in the soil and prevents seeds from germinating in the first place.

In Sacramento, you could probably use Preen in the fall, just before the rains start (wait for a predicted storm and sprinkle away). Then again about January. Unless you are watering your rocks, the Preen won't work but the weed seeds won't germinate anyway.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Jun 25, 2018 8:00 PM CST
Depending on the weed, the seeds will germinate with a heavy fog. Go with organic mulch.
Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 26, 2018 3:51 PM CST
Ok thank you for the replies everyone. I'll try taking out the tarp from under the rock. What's a garden flame thrower? Is that safe?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 26, 2018 4:19 PM CST
It makes a very small flame. It is as safe as the user.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 26, 2018 4:27 PM CST
My cousin burned down his front yard. My friend's husband caught a saguaro on fire. I won't allow my husband to touch one. Smiling

I'm sure there are plenty of people who have safely used one.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
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quercusnut
Jun 26, 2018 9:52 PM CST
Could you take pic of your weed? If it could be identified it might help to find a definitive solution.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 27, 2018 12:29 PM CST
axis_d said:Yeah I should be clear, the weeds back there are dead now, because of the heat. But anytime it rains they pop right up like crazy. So I take it solarizing wouldn't apply in this situation? Is my best plan to take all the rock out and cover it in mulch, then put the rocks back?

NO!
All you would do is give them a better substance to thrive in.
If you do not kill the roots they will not go away, EVER.

Rock trap dust and moisture .
Weeds love dust and moisture.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Jun 27, 2018 1:02 PM CST
I agree with RpR
Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 27, 2018 1:51 PM CST
Ok thank you for the replies everyone. I'll try taking out the tarp from under the rock. What's a garden flame thrower? Is that safe?
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Jun 27, 2018 1:59 PM CST
Not in fire weather! I use RoundUp very carefully on small weeds when there is no breeze to move it to other plants.
Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 27, 2018 4:01 PM CST
Sure, I didnt realize we could upload pictures. Here is what I have now, I can take a better one if needed..
Thumb of 2018-06-27/axis_d/60f7ec

Sacramento, California
axis_d
Jun 27, 2018 4:04 PM CST

Thumb of 2018-06-27/axis_d/fdbf35

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Jun 27, 2018 4:28 PM CST
On that hay field a flame thrower would NOT be safe, I would rake up everything then use Roundup on whatever grows back, and with all those seed heads stuff will grow back. However, when you get rid of the weed tarp, it should be easier to control.
Porkpal
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Birds Dragonflies Ferns Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jun 27, 2018 5:15 PM CST
Nice possibilities - you have a good framework of hardscaping to work with. Have fun!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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