mulch-lay weed blocker?

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Old 04-26-09, 01:51 AM
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mulch-lay weed blocker?

I have dug a large area where I am not planning on planting, just putting mulch down. I have found an inexpensive weed blocker (Weed-X) that has a 20 year guarantee and is rated #1 by seven independent laboratories. I am trying to decide whether to put this down. I am in the process of preparing this area and am concerned that if I don't have it completely flat, the mulch will run off with rain (I don't have a roller-should I purchase one?) I was told that if I don't use weed blocker, but put two or more inches of mulch, I won't have to worry about getting weeds for at least a year.
Thank you for your advice.

Karen
 
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Old 04-28-09, 12:24 AM
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I like several inches of coarse wood chips. Be sure they are coarse though.
 
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Old 04-28-09, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by musiclvr56 View Post
I am in the process of preparing this area and am concerned that if I don't have it completely flat, the mulch will run off with rain (I don't have a roller-should I purchase one?) I was told that if I don't use weed blocker, but put two or more inches of mulch, I won't have to worry about getting weeds for at least a year.
Karen, I've found that using a shredded mulch allows for the mulch to pack down and weave together better and not run off as much in a heavy rain, especially if the area is a slope. A 2" to 3" layer will be best, but don't put the mulch on top of or against the crown of the plants.

As to the weed block and weeds. Here's what I've found with the weed blockers. They help to keep weeds and weed seeds already in/on the ground from sprouting. Several layers of dampened newspaper (6 layers or so) can be just as effective and will decompose over time. Be sure to dampen the newspaper as you work or, with the first breeze, you'll be chasing it all over the yard! Been there...

Once weed blockers degrade, especially as the plastic ones will do, they are a mess to attempt to remove at the end of their lifespan. They break up into bits and are unsightly when attempting to replant or add additional plants. Been there... inherited that.

Weed blockers will be helpful in not allowing deep rooted weeds to establish their roots deep into the ground. BUT, and I say that with a big BUT, they still won't stop weed seeds from blowing in and sprouting in the mulch. Mother nature doesn't like blank spaces and will plant what will grow in a space. If you have a large area with weed blocker you will then have to hand weed.

If you have a large area you want to mulch I suggest using one of these to cultivate below the mulch once or twice a season. They will cut off the weeds at the surface of the soil and will be manageable under the mulch. A scuffle hoe aka stirrup hoe or the collinear hoe is great for large surface areas. You manuver the hoe under the mulch and just move it back and forth. Also works great in mulched garden paths or between rows in a veggie garden. These are not useful with a weed blocker down.
http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magaz...nt-digIt.shtml

One way or the other weed seeds will sprout in the mulch unless you have plants whose leaves cover the soil so the soil is shaded enough so the seeds don't germinate.

If you have weedblocker on the soil and intend to plant, know that only plants that spread in a clump will be successful. Anything that spreads by runners will have difficulty establishing as the roots on the runners will not be able to penetrate into the soil.

If you use weedblocker and use just a mulch and no plants, as the mulch breaks down it won't be able to mix with the soil and will eventually blow away in a dust-like form.

Maybe you should consider planting this area with something like Dutch clover.
http://www.outsidepride.com/catalog/...d-p-16701.html

If you will be seeding or regrading you can rent a roller. No need to purchase one. Just fill with water to add the weight needed and empty the water when you're done.

Newt
 
 

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