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Old 06-16-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
48 posts, read 68,751 times
Reputation: 78

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Thanks for the feedback! I guess the pull rock/landscape fabric sounds like it gives me the best chance of lower maintenance. If it doesn't last more than 5 years, I think I'll just pull it all and figure out how to make it into a wood mulch/plant area. But for now, I have more than enough 'garden' areas to keep me busy.

I've been looking around the neighborhood and everyone who has put a section like this in has some weed issues. I can tell how long it has been there by how bad their weeds are.

Plus I have neighbors putting in brand new beds with shrubs and rock and I want to tell them how much they'll regret it in 5+ years, but I doubt they'd believe me. A bunch of the neighbors are anti-wood mulch. They think it encourages mice to live there.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: NC
5,188 posts, read 5,429,707 times
Reputation: 9616
If you have no tree roots under the rocks you can use a product called Sahara, which will give 9 to 13 months of control. If you have tree roots growing underneath the landscape rock there is a possiblity that the trees will be killed as well. This is a different product than glyphosate and therefore has different restricitions. Nonetheless, it is still safe for animals.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:48 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 6,454,981 times
Reputation: 4189
Quote:
Originally Posted by txmg View Post
Thanks for the feedback! I guess the pull rock/landscape fabric sounds like it gives me the best chance of lower maintenance. If it doesn't last more than 5 years, I think I'll just pull it all and figure out how to make it into a wood mulch/plant area. But for now, I have more than enough 'garden' areas to keep me busy.

I've been looking around the neighborhood and everyone who has put a section like this in has some weed issues. I can tell how long it has been there by how bad their weeds are.

Plus I have neighbors putting in brand new beds with shrubs and rock and I want to tell them how much they'll regret it in 5+ years, but I doubt they'd believe me. A bunch of the neighbors are anti-wood mulch. They think it encourages mice to live there.
OMG, what stupid neighbors. Mice will live anywhere. And mice only make nests in mounds of mulch heaped up around plants before the ground freezes in winter. They don't nest in the 2-3" layer of mulch you put around your plants.

They will be SOOOOOO sorry they put in rock over landscape fabric!!! A neighbor has that, installed by the home builder. It's an unmitigated disaster. They have a beautiful rock-terrraced garden on a slope in the front of their house, and there are dead Knockout roses and spireas all over it because (a) the soil is clay and has never been amended, (b) the landscape fabric is thick and although it's permeable, doesn't allow the maximum amount of water to the roots, and (c) all those rocks create enough weight to totally compact the soil around the roots of the plants.

If we were househunting and I saw that arrangement, it would be enough to put me off buying the place. If people are stupid enopugh to allow rocks and landscape fabric in their ornamental beds, heaven knows what other dumb things they've done to the home.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
48 posts, read 68,751 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
OMG, what stupid neighbors. Mice will live anywhere. And mice only make nests in mounds of mulch heaped up around plants before the ground freezes in winter. They don't nest in the 2-3" layer of mulch you put around your plants.

They will be SOOOOOO sorry they put in rock over landscape fabric!!! A neighbor has that, installed by the home builder. It's an unmitigated disaster. They have a beautiful rock-terrraced garden on a slope in the front of their house, and there are dead Knockout roses and spireas all over it because (a) the soil is clay and has never been amended, (b) the landscape fabric is thick and although it's permeable, doesn't allow the maximum amount of water to the roots, and (c) all those rocks create enough weight to totally compact the soil around the roots of the plants.

If we were househunting and I saw that arrangement, it would be enough to put me off buying the place. If people are stupid enopugh to allow rocks and landscape fabric in their ornamental beds, heaven knows what other dumb things they've done to the home.
I know.... we just have one very vocal neighbor and so many seem to follow his lead. He has a way of making 'authoritative' statements about mice habits. He is convinced our house is doomed due to the amount of wood mulch around it. I'm certain he uses it as an example of what not to do.

We bought this house after it had been sitting two winters unoccupied and some mice had made a home inside each winter. The next 2 falls we did have mice come in, but probably due to habit or instinct. Since we eradicated them, no more mice have come in for several years. The mulch seems to be the last place they want to be. I've found holes in hills, retaining walls, under sidewalks - but nowhere near mulch.

But it seems like every new garden type area in this neighborhood they are going with the plants, rocks and landscape fabric. 3 more neighbors just this spring/summer put them in. I'm sure they are hoping for a plant it once and forget about it, but I have yet to see it work out that way 5 years in.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Long Island
716 posts, read 856,384 times
Reputation: 603
I have an area on the side of my house with rocks and a handful of hostas. I do notice weeds coming through from the landscape fabric underneath that the old owners put down. I thought about removing all the rocks (ugh, would not look forward to that, too many little rocks) and put new fabric down, but if there is a solution like Roundup, that might save me some headaches.

My question though is, if I use something like Roundup, would that harm the hostas? Sorry, newbie over here
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Floribama
11,795 posts, read 26,457,067 times
Reputation: 9130
Quote:
Originally Posted by okellies View Post
I have an area on the side of my house with rocks and a handful of hostas. I do notice weeds coming through from the landscape fabric underneath that the old owners put down. I thought about removing all the rocks (ugh, would not look forward to that, too many little rocks) and put new fabric down, but if there is a solution like Roundup, that might save me some headaches.

My question though is, if I use something like Roundup, would that harm the hostas? Sorry, newbie over here
No, just don't spray it on the hosta. You can put a bag or something over them to make sure no spray gets on them. Roundup breaks down and is deactivated when it gets into the soil.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:37 PM
 
Location: South
1,591 posts, read 2,514,254 times
Reputation: 1852
I just picked up a huge rock garden with enough rocks to fill two truck beds to the top. There was fabric shredded all over the place from being there and rotting for a while. I don't think it's worth the hassle later on if you every plan on changing anything. I'm growing grass now.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:18 PM
 
539 posts, read 499,976 times
Reputation: 869
On the other hand.... As I've been taking up and "cleaning" the beds of landscape rock around my house, I've found that the places without landscape cloth underneath are much nastier to deal with, as the rocks on the bottom really get embedded in the dirt underneath. The cloth does a pretty good job of keeping the rocks contained, at least.

The landscape cloth I've been dealing with is 15+ years old and is mostly intact except for what was under the rock area that was used as a parking space by the previous owners of my house. Maybe the fabric Geneyus has that is shredding and rotted was very poor quality stuff to begin with?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 8,808,064 times
Reputation: 19348
Quote:
Originally Posted by txmg View Post
I'm debating this with myself.... I'm thinking some additional input could be useful.

I have an area at the base of the driveway where there is a drainage ditch. The former owners put in fabric and river rock.

As it tends to do, after about 10 years the weeds are coming through with increasing enthusiasm. Annoyingly, mostly through the fabric. I suspect the rock layer was too thin in areas. The fabric still looks decent, but some areas were exposed.

Now my dilemma is: what to do? I will never have plants there. I pretty much have to put the rocks back in. DH will not mow it since it is an awkward area to mow.

Do I put down another layer of fabric? I can't really see another alternative if there are rocks there. All my plant areas are cardboard/newspaper with wood mulch. I like that method since it lasts for 3 years or so and then I can just add more cardboard/mulch on top. This removing and washing rocks business stinks in comparison.

Is there another way to reduce weeds with rock? They truly look terrible there.
I would NEVER lay landscape rock without fabric underneath. If you're going to do it though, pay the extra money to get good, heavy duty weed block. Don't get the cheap stuff or you'll regret it! If you can get your hand on some of the "driveway" fabric, even better!

Depending on what's "falling" on your rock, you can either use a leaf blower or shop vac (modified nozzle) to clean the rock. It's a PITA....I know, but if you can keep debris from accumulating and forming "dirt" pockets, new weeds will be held at bay. Some folks love their rocks, but I"ve also met a whole lot of them who regret ever putting in rock.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:46 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 26,313,712 times
Reputation: 22914
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
OMG, what stupid neighbors. Mice will live anywhere. And mice only make nests in mounds of mulch heaped up around plants before the ground freezes in winter. They don't nest in the 2-3" layer of mulch you put around your plants.

They will be SOOOOOO sorry they put in rock over landscape fabric!!! A neighbor has that, installed by the home builder. It's an unmitigated disaster. They have a beautiful rock-terrraced garden on a slope in the front of their house, and there are dead Knockout roses and spireas all over it because (a) the soil is clay and has never been amended, (b) the landscape fabric is thick and although it's permeable, doesn't allow the maximum amount of water to the roots, and (c) all those rocks create enough weight to totally compact the soil around the roots of the plants.

If we were househunting and I saw that arrangement, it would be enough to put me off buying the place. If people are stupid enopugh to allow rocks and landscape fabric in their ornamental beds, heaven knows what other dumb things they've done to the home.
Landscape fabric in planting beds with rock do real well here in the west when the plants are irrigated with a drip system. Even with a spray system.

I'm working on a clients house right now where we landscaped the entire .20ac front yard with rock over fabric and drip over ten years ago. It's still in perfect shape. The plants/trees are doing fine and thriving.

Like everything else it has to be done correctly. Ammendments, proper drainage/grading, irrigation, professional fabic (not that crap from HD/Lowes) and of course proper maintenance by the client after installation.
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