Cardboard for weed barrier under playset?

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  #1  
Old 09-22-13, 07:17 PM
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Cardboard for weed barrier under playset?

We built a big playset for the kids and will add about 7" of wood chip mulch under it for safety reasons (as recommended for cushion in case of falls).

I was thinking I'd put a layer of cardboard under the mulch to keep the weeds away for a longer time. The wife is concerned it will hold more water in the play area. Of course, unlike a flower bed, the moisture is counter productive, because it will just accelerate the rot of the play structure.

Is the cardboard overkill with such a thick layer of mulch?

Will the cardboard make the mulch hold more water (the mulch will of course hold a lot on its own).

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-22-13, 08:49 PM
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In my opinion the cardboard will just get wet and fall apart doing nothing to stop the weeds.

A landscape fabric may be a better choice for weed control.
 
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Old 09-23-13, 03:14 AM
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I agree with PJ, cardboard will deteriorate too quickly to keep weeds out for very long. Invest in some Typar or other landscape fabric to allow water to leech through, but keep weeds at bay.

Have you considered other ground cover? Our church decided to remove the old pine bark from our playground for the preschool. I had them put in Typar and pea gravel. At first, some of the adults scorned the idea thinking the kids would just throw the rocks into the parking lot. Long term, the pea gravel is still there, the kids don't get as dirty as they did on the bark, and it is easier under their feet. Falling on pea gravel is not like falling on crusher run rock, since they are rounded rock. Just throwing an option out there. Oh, yeah, the bark had to be replaced every couple of years due to deterioration. We are going on 7 years on the pea gravel and it looks like it did when we put it in.
 
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Old 09-23-13, 07:48 AM
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Cardboard would be less then useless.
If all the old top soil is removed, a layer of silt screen (also called driveway cloth) is layed then use recycled tire mulch is use it will not break down.
 
  #5  
Old 09-29-13, 06:35 PM
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Well the cardboard would mostly be to provide additional light block to help kill the existing grass. How long it lasts after that I don't really care. I'm not a big fan of landscaping fabric, since in my experience it doesn't delay weeds much, and then makes them harder to pull.

I've looked into rubber mulch but it's very expensive. At $2,000 - $3,000 (plus the cost of shipping 4 tons), I'd rather refill with wood mulch in a couple of years.
 
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Old 09-29-13, 06:42 PM
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IMO the cardboard will just encourage mold growth underneath it. When it deteriorates, that mold will then feed on the mulch, which might eventually happen anyway.

If you put the mulch down thick enough, it will smother the weeds and you won't have a problem. Put the mulch down thin and weeds will grow through it. its pretty much that simple.
 
  #7  
Old 09-29-13, 07:06 PM
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Well I like the argument. I'll go with just the mulch. Thanks.
 
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