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Old 08-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
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Input on mulch and weed issues


I have some bushes in the front of my house that are pretty tall (4 feet) and mulch bed around them. The mulch is getting pretty old and light colored along with some weeds growing out of the mulch. I was hoping someone would let me know what I can do to make it look better and get rid of the weeds.

My thoughts were to remove all the mulch down to the soil, then pull the weeds, then lay down some black landscape fabric (cutting around the bush trunk), then laying some new mulch over the black landscape fabric. Pretty simple but not sure if I should do anything else.

I have a walkway that is growing tons of weed and grass out of the mulch so I was going to do the same thing as above but add paver stones/sand to secure the walking stones.

Any thoughts or tips?

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Old 08-23-2013, 01:34 PM   #2
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Input on mulch and weed issues


I usually top dress the mulch with new unless it gets too deep then I remove it. Landscape fabric helps control weeds but weeds will still grow in the layer of mulch on top of the fabric. If you have any slope on your beds, the mulch has a tendency to slide off the fabric if it is extremely dry or in a heavy rain.

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Old 08-23-2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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Input on mulch and weed issues


Pull the weeds out by the roots.
DO not use landscape fabric. Wills will just grow right through it and be near impossible to pull out.
Use cypress mulch.
Add some Preen on top of the much.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:16 AM   #4
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Input on mulch and weed issues


Remove the mulch if you want but if you should be able to just add over it unless the fading really bothers you. I take it you do not have bedding plants or anything and such mulch around shrubs?

Even when practicing landscape design I seldom ever specified landscape cloth under anything. If you choose to use it remember it ranges from cheap, thin easily torn and worthless to expensive and marginal as it degrades over time. Joe is correct that weeds will grow between the cloth and the surface in it anyhow so thinking it a weed free solution will disappoint you.

As Joe suggests use a mulch that will break down slowly. Cypress is good but not availed everywhere so things like cedar or redwood might be a better choice.

Rubber mulches can work out well also and look like real wood mulch---if you want---until you get up on them. The stuff actually comes in a rainbow of kinky looking colors too. People either love or hate the concept of recycled rubber in their yards.

You can pull existing weeds or treat with a systemic post-emergent herbicide like Round-up being careful not to get overspray on plants you want. It is non-selective save for some genetically modified ag crops that are built to grow with it in their systems. A decent tank garden sprayer shouldn't set you back more than $20 for a one or two plastic tank version. Mark it for weeds and use it for nothing else. Keep it rinsed out and dry when not in use and it will last you a long time. Round-up also comes in gallons with a hand sprayer thingie. You pay too much for the silly thingie packaging in my opinion.

Joe mentions Preen. It is one brand of pre-emergent herbicide that will help prevent weed seeds from sprouting next spring. It is granular so you have to apply it to where the seeds will try to sprout though so sprinkling it on top of mulch may not work so well. It really should be down on the soil.

With any herbicide please use only per directions. If the label calls for a certain distribution rate of granules or 1T per gallon in liquid? Using more will achieve nothing but possibly threaten the environment because of overuse. And abuse forces the EPA to step in an ban things so we cannot get an use them anymore.

Last edited by user1007; 08-24-2013 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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Input on mulch and weed issues


Cultivate it and remove the weeds then use a pre emergent. Spot treat with R-up through the season. The fabric is a sucker product. I can't imagine why it is still on the market.
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