clearing area/bed preparation

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  #1  
Old 10-06-03, 02:17 PM
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clearing area/bed preparation

Planning on doing a large amount of landscaping next spring and I want to take care of a few problems I am now having. A year ago, I cut out rough beds, laid multiple layers of newspaper and just planted a few items for some structural interest until I was able to do some larger scale landscaping. (we had recently moved into the house and most of the interior needed immediate attention) Most of these beds have been overrun by weeds, despite my futile efforts to keep up. One in particular has prickly, very fast growing weeds that were over waist high when we first bought the house. Should I remove the plants that are currently in these beds and spread some sort of vegetation killer, let it sit over the winter, then add soil in the spring along with landscaping fabric, and start my planting? I live in Northern NJ.

Also, I had a japanese maple get chewed up pretty good by deer last winter. I waited to see how it recovered early this spring, but when I saw that some branches were obviously dead, did some pruning back to the point where I saw some life in the branches. Is there anything else I can do to help this along? I know these are slow growing trees, but feel like I lost some progress by pruning.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-07-03, 09:34 AM
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If the beds are small (a relative concept, I know), pull the weeds. This will help eliminate the seed heads. The first frost will probably kill the weeds before a herbicide will due to the low current temperatures.

www.ac5r.org/Yard_plan1.jpg

If you are going to put down landscape fabric in the spring, you could put it down now to keep the winter weeds at bay. Doing so may save you a lot of trouble in the spring. You can reinstall it once the soil preparation is complete.

If you get a soil test, you will know what amendments need to be added in the spring. Till them in with the new soil. Tilling the new soil helps avoid layering, a permeability problem that can result from a hard soil having something applied over it. It can create problems with water puddling underground and giving the plants wet feet.

Fall is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. They have a chance to become established before spring and are ready to go when the weather warms. Having those in the ground will let you focus on other things.

Your maple is better off for you having removed the dead material. Just keep it watered and feed it this winter. Be patient, for they grow slowly.

Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-03, 09:50 AM
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Chris, thanks for the reply. I'll weed (again) and lay that fabric down. Probably not getting to any new plants before next spring due to other semi major interior projects that need to be completed. Hopefully these things will die off before next spring.
 
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Old 10-07-03, 07:45 PM
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We all have to balance priorities. Good luck.
 
  #5  
Old 10-23-03, 07:09 AM
iiMDii
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year ago, I cut out rough beds, laid multiple layers of newspaper...

What purpose does the newspaper serve?

Thx.

MD
 
  #6  
Old 10-23-03, 03:46 PM
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The newspaper smothers the weeds, blocking sunlight, kills the weeds. It will decompose beneficially into the soil.
 
  #7  
Old 10-24-03, 06:39 AM
iiMDii
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Until I was able to do some larger scale landscaping.

So the paper goes down as interim fabric until the major work can be done. People aren't putting newspaper down in place of weed fabric, right?

How do you hold the newspaper down and prevent it from blowing away? Just curious.


Thanks.

MD
 
  #8  
Old 10-24-03, 07:07 AM
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Newspaper is not a substitute for landscape fabric. It deteriorates and will be gone in a year; and does not allow moisture to pass nearly so well as landscape fabric. One way to hold the paper in place is to cover it with a layer of leaves and wet them all.
 
  #9  
Old 10-24-03, 09:03 AM
iiMDii
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Ahhhh.......wet leaves. That's a good idea. I wish I thought of that in the interim between the time I put in 9 yards of soil and the time it took me to lay down the fabric. The weeds were lovin it.
 
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