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Old 06-08-2015, 02:42 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,752,199 times
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So it is in the side yard. the previous owner (they had the house for 2 years) probably just stored construction debris there. and buried. They demolished a small pool after they bought the house. IF I dig 1-2 inches it is full or rocks and small pieces of concrete. I already went through with a lawn mower, so what is left is weeds stuck at the surface level 1-2 inches. That area is not really suitable for anything but mulch and potted gardening due to the debris. It would cost me $1000 at least to really clean it up, but rather just cover it up with something nice.
I heard the landscape fabric wears out in 1-3 years then weeds will pop up. I don't want to have a lawn in the side yard, as we have a long term drought here in northern cali. Actually with all the mulch and flowerbed areas I am reducing the lawn area by 40-50%. this is for water savings and for reducing the required work.
I cannot have 4" mulch there against the house wall, to prevent long term damage to the house, and to prevent many bugs/cockroaches from constantly trying to get into the house. My plan was to clear/smoother the ground then add 1" mulch for decoration.
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:51 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,140 posts, read 44,957,937 times
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I'm still digging landscape fabric out that I buried 15 years ago, is was vinyl and not cloth.

Even if it does degrade after a couple years the point of the exercise is to bury the latent weed seeds, after a couple years most will be dead/dying and you'll have 4 inches of mulch on top of them.

You'll still get random weeds popping up, mostly deposited by birds or even blown in by the wind.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:45 PM
 
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1" isn't going to do it. You'll get bare spots from wind, rain, walking on it. If you have to keep it away from the house put in a border.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:54 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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Don't till; you'll just encourage more weeds.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Don't till; you'll just encourage more weeds
.

How would you fix his piece of property without disturbing the soil?
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:50 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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Landscape fabric and a thick cover of mulch or rock. Gently take out any rocks that protrude from the surface. Dig out only what you must remove to plant drought-tolerant trees. The weed stalks will decay. Use raised beds or pots for flowers if desired.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:58 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,140 posts, read 44,957,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
.

How would you fix his piece of property without disturbing the soil?
For what he wants to do he doesn't have to till the whole thing up. Just dig the holes for whatever tree/shrub (amend the soil there while doing so) he wants to plant, then cover with fabric and mulch. The space doesn't look too big so one tree may be it.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:22 PM
 
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I started cleaning up today. Also checked some old satellite images on google maps.
What I found was interesting:
One side of the house there is soil.
The other side: about 3 inches deep paver base, and leveling send mixed with mulch some plastic/metal garbage and dead weeds on the top of it. The satellite image shows concrete surface on this side. I found 1x1' concrete step stones, about 40 pieces (it must have been 350 pieces). So the previous owner removed the paving step stones and threw garbage on it. Then the weeds started growing.
No chance that I can remove the 3in layer of paver base (rocks with large grain sand). It is not even flat. So I have to build on it. The landscape fabric solution seems compelling now. But I have to find out how to prevent it from deteriorating after a few years. Or build back the pavers: buy 350 paver stones, hundred bags of leveling sand, clean all mulch/weed, then build. This would cost me thousands, GRRRRR...
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 14,486,406 times
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OP I feel for you, and here are my suggestions:

1. No landscape fabric - Weeds will grow on and through this at some point.

2. Drought and trees - Even drought tolerant plants may need deep watering to get established. Will you be able to water the trees deeply for at least year to get them established? Check out native shrubs and trees for alkaline soil. They may be fine in topsoil on top of concrete rubble.

3. Concrete Debris Removal - The previous owners of my house did the same thing, and I have a big yard. Yes you can remove the concrete debris. It just takes time.

4. Stone mulch - How about stone instead of wood? It may rain again and without much plant cover, the wood mulch may wash away and make a mess.

Bakersfield Landscape Design Company Creates Water-Conscious Garden for Local Church » Monji Enterprises
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/135108057541870566/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/178103360235317670/



BTW shame for using weed killer on those weeds. Since there is a drought, you may have been able to just spray or pour vinegar on them. That is a natural weed killer, and IMO safer to use near the house. I'd bet it would be easy to control the weeds with just vinegar.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:56 AM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,752,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkytoes View Post
OP I feel for you, and here are my suggestions:

1. No landscape fabric - Weeds will grow on and through this at some point.

2. Drought and trees - Even drought tolerant plants may need deep watering to get established. Will you be able to water the trees deeply for at least year to get them established? Check out native shrubs and trees for alkaline soil. They may be fine in topsoil on top of concrete rubble.

3. Concrete Debris Removal - The previous owners of my house did the same thing, and I have a big yard. Yes you can remove the concrete debris. It just takes time.

4. Stone mulch - How about stone instead of wood? It may rain again and without much plant cover, the wood mulch may wash away and make a mess.

Bakersfield Landscape Design Company Creates Water-Conscious Garden for Local Church » Monji Enterprises
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/135108057541870566/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/178103360235317670/



BTW shame for using weed killer on those weeds. Since there is a drought, you may have been able to just spray or pour vinegar on them. That is a natural weed killer, and IMO safer to use near the house. I'd bet it would be easy to control the weeds with just vinegar.
In stone mulch you mean river pebbles?
It would be easy to install it. 350 sqft needs at least 30 cuft that is 60 bags or $270 plus delivery.
I might go for it. Good idea.
By the way I bought like 30bags of brown mulch, didnt spread it yet.
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