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Old 08-06-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,225 posts, read 10,466,013 times
Reputation: 16869

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I have some areas that I want to cover with gravel or whatever else I can to keep ANYTHING from growing there -- e.g., the perimeter of my house where the basement walls/windows are, the area around the propane tank, etc. Right now those places are a mix of weeds/grass (yuck). How do I get rid of everything so I can cover the area with gravel? (Sorry, I know this is a beginner's question, but that's what I am!!)

I'm in New Hampshire, zone 5b.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:42 PM
 
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Cover with landscape cloth, and mulch or cover with rocks.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:38 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Gravel is awfully hard to deal with a few years from now when it's mixed in with the soil and you decide to dig to build or plant something. I agree with landscape cloth (weedcloth) but would first lay several layers of old newspapers, if you have them. This helps hold in more heat to kill and decompose the weeds/grass faster under the weedcloth and gravel. It will decompose along with the plant matter. My preferred material for on top of the cloth is wood chips, because they will not break down as fast as mulch, you don't need the nutrient value of mulch since you have nothing growing there, and in many cases tree service people will drop off wood chips free of charge.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:36 PM
Status: "Super Junior's 12th Anniversary!" (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,421 posts, read 12,554,314 times
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Get cardboard boxes from the supermarket or whatever, put those down and put down 4 or so inches of wood chips. You'll still have to pull the occasional weed. Even if you use landscape fabric. I know from experience. So do mother earth a favor and use something biodegradable.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,225 posts, read 10,466,013 times
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Thanks for the replies! I am going to trim the weeds/grass as short as I can get them, then try the cardboard/landscape fabric/wood chips suggestions. After covering the very short weeds/grass with those things, about how long will it take for them to die?

(And I will rep you all for being helpful -- I appreciate it! )
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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It can take a year, depending on climate and weather but the material (even without the fabric) will keep any weeds from popping through during that time.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,225 posts, read 10,466,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
It can take a year, depending on climate and weather but the material (even without the fabric) will keep any weeds from popping through during that time.
OK, thanks. I am most concerned about keeping mice away from my basement walls, so the less I have for them to hide in, the better.

I already rep'd you or I would again!
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:13 PM
 
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Landscape fabric is excellent in controlling weed-growth, but if you are truly after the ultimate, may I suggest Soil Solarization. Soil Solarization, is a process that utilizes black plastic (summer months) when the weather is the hottest.

Weed seeds and vegetative propagules, cannot withstand the heat and quickly die off. Simply cover any areas you wish to kill-off weeds, etc, and allow the black plastic to perform it's magic. I suggest 6-8 weeks. From there you can cover-off with landscape fabric, but whenever you have beds or areas right up against the house, avoid using any kind of mulch.

Mulch attracts ants and insects, and you don't want that.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:58 PM
 
3,339 posts, read 6,596,768 times
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Landscape fabric invariably tears. Some weeds will even grow right through it. Removing it after you realize you've made a mistake by using landascape fabric is very difficult. Avoid it like the plague.

And by the by -- mulch is just fine if you have a well built home. If you don't have a well built home, that's a much bigger problem than trying to kill vegetation.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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Sow the soil with salt. The kind you use for sidewalks. It'll give you a barren patch quickly.
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