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Old 07-01-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


Is is better to use weed control fabric with mulch? What thickness of mulch is effective? I put some in one spot about 2 weeks ago without the fabric and weeds are coming out already! When using the weed control fabric does it retain more humidity bugs? I already have lots of those around. Yuk! Thank you guys! And gals!

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Old 07-01-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


Girly:

I was born in Montreal !! Je mapelle Janette

I have found that the weed barrier becomes a pita after a few years when you want to make changes. Then you are stuck with it.

What does work nicely is a very thick layer of newspaper instead. It will be just as effective at first and then break down over time.

You're in Canada..you are not getting away from the bugs regardless, but it is true that a good fall clean up will eliminate some cozy overwintering spots

Happy gardening

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Old 07-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


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Is is better to use weed control fabric with mulch? What thickness of mulch is effective? I put some in one spot about 2 weeks ago without the fabric and weeds are coming out already! When using the weed control fabric does it retain more humidity bugs? I already have lots of those around. Yuk! Thank you guys! And gals!

3/4 inches of mulch to be effective!
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


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Is is better to use weed control fabric with mulch? What thickness of mulch is effective? I put some in one spot about 2 weeks ago without the fabric and weeds are coming out already! When using the weed control fabric does it retain more humidity bugs? I already have lots of those around. Yuk! Thank you guys! And gals!
I put mulch around my yard this year, some spots I used weed barrier, others I did not.

What I've found is that if you are intending to have plantings in the mulch, you will end up with weeds near by. The fabric didn't seem to stop the weeds or re-growth where I put much down over existing grass/weeds.

I put 2-4" down.

I dislike chemicals, but RoundUp seems to be very effective at getting weeds that poke through.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


We have tried various barriers, none of which, in my opinion, are worth it. For a number of years now, our approach for new beds has been to remove the sod, weeds, or whatever is there, cultivate the soil, apply a light application of Preen, and lay down an inch or two of mulch. The Preen helps prevent any initial and overzealous vegetation, and, as the mulch settles down, it becomes hard for anything of substance to work its way through, so it's pretty easy to stay on top of by pulling the occasional strays. Then, in a year or two, depending on how soon you want to dress it up a bit, lightly fluff whatever is left with a rake or cultivator, lay down 3/4" or so, and it will look brand new again.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


Look at any pro landscapers work. I've never seen one of them use weed block.

The weeds and grass have to be removed first or nothing will work.
I use a Mantis tiller to dig down about 4 to 6" rake out the sod, go around the area with a spade and form a low spot all around the area, then add the mulch. About 4" is perfect. Then I add more Preen over the mulch.
The Preen stops new weeds from growing.

Look around any commercial property that has been landscaped to see what I'm talking about with the edging.
It forms a barrier between the grass and the mulch.
I never use hard wood mulch, it decomposes and makes a great place for weeds to start growing, it mats down and in the shade can mold up.
I use Cypruss or Cedar instead, plus it's cheap to buy and repells insects.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


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Girly:

I have found that the weed barrier becomes a pita after a few years when you want to make changes. Then you are stuck with it.

What does work nicely is a very thick layer of newspaper instead. It will be just as effective at first and then break down over time.
Hi Janette! I heard about putting newspaper instead of a weed barrier a while back and had forgotten all about it so thanks for reminding me. Why bother buying weed barrier when it doesn't even work? I put 3-4 inches of mulch with the barrier and 2 weeks later the weeds came out! Reading all the answers I received I see I'm not the only one that's had that experience. Thanks for answering so many of my questions. I see you've answered quite a few of them ... with a name like creeper I thought there was a man behind that name. Glad to meet you!
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


Glad to meet you too Girly. You are not the only one that has made the gender mistake. Ha.

I go by Jan. My grandfather was the only one to call me the French version. He thought it fitting since we lived in Quebec. My Francois is limited to public school curriculum. Back to gardening.

Here are some pics of some of my gardens. In the front one there is fabric under a thick layer of mulch. There is none in the front part of this bed so I could put in annuals without the hassle. The fabric section of this garden gets less weeds than the annual section.

In the side yard pic both these gardens have no fabric but did have a very thick layer of newspapers under the mulch.

The newspaper garden definitely gets less weeds, but it also gets considerably less sun. So who knows?
Attached Thumbnails
Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?-img00310-20120707-0958.jpg   Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?-img00313-20120707-1001.jpg   Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?-img00315-20120707-1008.jpg   Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?-img00309-20120707-0957-1-.jpg   Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?-img00316-20120707-1106.jpg  


Last edited by creeper; 07-07-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:10 PM   #9
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


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Here are some pics of some of my gardens.
Your gardens are beautiful!! I won't dare put pictures of my garden here I kind of want to put my head in the sand I am so ashamed (there's no smiley face to represent that!!) but I'll take pictures of before and after and maybe then I'll share them Yikes! Oh! By the way I'm Valerie
I have to put gardening aside my pool just gave out this morning I could have done without that! Talk to you soon!
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


Hi Valerie

Sorry to hear about your pool. Luckily the heat wave is over for a few days,but I hear its coming back by next weekend. There is always something eh!

My garden didn't look like that a few years ago. In fact no two years are the same.. alot of trial and error. The back is kind of a disaster though. I have to keep the front nice because of a marketing sign I have there. Gotta have curb appeal.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:12 AM   #11
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


I personally did not like using landscape fabric but in certain situations. When I did, I bought quality stuff. Like anything, if you get the cheap box store stuff it will tear and get brittle and all is lost.

As for mulch, there is a tendancy to over mulch I do not understand. Remember that mulch draws nitrogen from the soil---from the same sources your plants do---as part of its natural decomposition. If you put it on to thick, you need to compensate the plants with a higher nitrogen fertilizer.

I think a seasonal hand weeding and application of a pre-emergent herbicide like PREEN a good approach to weed control. I will hype using drip irrigation to put at least the water you apply just where you want it and not where weeds can get to it.

As Joe mentions, adding raised borders between turf and planting beds holds mulch in place and adds a finished look. You can get patterns of edging with a surface for a mower wheel. Border materials come in varieties you can place yourself. A nice option available here is a poured system not unlike they use for pouring street gutters. The machines are similar technology. The companies that do it offer different patterns and shapes----brick, stones, etc.----and can color the concrete whatever you want. They extrude the pattern as a continuous pour and can bend around curves and all sorts of shapes like tree circles.



Also look into recycled rubber mulch. It is good looking, does not break down and you can get it in colors including those that simulate the look of cedar, etc. to the point it is hard to tell it is not until you pick a piece up.


Last edited by user1007; 07-08-2012 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Added Pictures
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


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Originally Posted by bubbler View Post
I put mulch around my yard this year, some spots I used weed barrier, others I did not.

What I've found is that if you are intending to have plantings in the mulch, you will end up with weeds near by. The fabric didn't seem to stop the weeds or re-growth where I put much down over existing grass/weeds.

I put 2-4" down.

I dislike chemicals, but RoundUp seems to be very effective at getting weeds that poke through.
This is exactly what I've found.

In my experience, landscaping fabric really hasn't helped keep weeds out. I just figure on spraying carefully, with RoundUp, as necessary.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #13
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


I personally don't like the fabric at all because after the first year its a big hassle
what I use is PREEN, its a pellet that you can spread around plants, it stops most of all the weeds and is quick and easy. I bought mine from the local hardware store.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #14
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Mulch - alone or with weed control fabric?


I can vouch for the newspaper trick. It doesn't stop weeds from coming up 100% but it helps quite a bit and then you don't have the mesh to deal with when you want to change things up.

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