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Old 10-04-2009, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
8,671 posts, read 12,948,376 times
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I plan to have a guy come in this month and plant about one dozen young leyland cypress trees (staggered) along my property line (avg. 6' in side my property line).

I want to have an area of about 12' from the property line into my yard covered with these trees and mulch / needles.

Do I need to turn over all that ground back there before planting the trees and covering the area with mulch or pine needles? Or can I just put down the mulch or pine needles over the lawn and smother the existing turf?

Ideas?
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:24 PM
 
35,597 posts, read 41,710,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripes17 View Post
I plan to have a guy come in this month and plant about one dozen young leyland cypress trees (staggered) along my property line (avg. 6' in side my property line).

I want to have an area of about 12' from the property line into my yard covered with these trees and mulch / needles.

Do I need to turn over all that ground back there before planting the trees and covering the area with mulch or pine needles? Or can I just put down the mulch or pine needles over the lawn and smother the existing turf?

Ideas?
Just spray it with Roundup and kill the turf and weeds. I don't see any reason to do any extra work. Make sure you space those trees out at least 6 feet or more. If they are happy in that area, they'll grow together quick!
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,973,725 times
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I would remove the sod.

The "extra work" will pay off.

Depending on the type of grass you have, chances are pretty high that Roundup will kill what's visible, but it will come back.

I guess another option is 4-6" of mulch over the sod, but I'd start clean.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:39 AM
 
4,906 posts, read 8,090,121 times
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No, no, no, too much work to turn all that ground, or remove the sod, and no need to spray with Roundup.

Just plant the trees and then cover all the ground that you are going to want to be mulched with newspaper (at least 4 sheets thick), wet it down with the hose, then throw on the mulch. I do this all the time to make new places to plant, works great. Be sure to overlap the edges at least 3-4 inches to prevent a stray blade of grass from worming its way out (if it does, just pull back the mulch, put down more newspaper, wet again, put mulch back...but it's best not to walk on the newspaper until it has killed the grass....can tear the paper and leave space for grass to grow)....and speaking of worms, they love to make their home under this!

This will completely kill the grass within one season, and also enrich the soil for the little trees to spread their roots out in.

Be sure not to mulch right up to the trunks of the trees, it's bad for them. Keep the mulch pulled away from the trunks, 3-4 inches away is fine.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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I've mulched over lawn areas many times as I've created or expanded planting beds and never had issues with the grass underneath sprouting through.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
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It depends on a few things. What kind of grass? How much mulch and what type? Etc.

To avoid future headaches, I'd still rip up any grass and put a hard border between the grass and the new mulch bed where the trees are going in.

I've cleaned out beds where people put much (and paper, and "barrier cloth") over established lawns. What a mess. The grass roots (and weed roots) take forever to die and if the border isn't at least cut out with a hard border (or large gap) installed, grasses just invade quickly from the side.

I say do it right the first time :P
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:45 AM
 
9,196 posts, read 23,896,360 times
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I've never found it necessary to use newspaper or anything else other than soil conditioner and mulch when converting a lawn area to a planting bed. Yes, the borders of the beds need to edged, just like any other bed, although I'm personally opposed to "hard borders" and just prefer a natural, nicely edged border.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:47 AM
 
4,906 posts, read 8,090,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caution View Post
It depends on a few things. What kind of grass? How much mulch and what type? Etc.

To avoid future headaches, I'd still rip up any grass and put a hard border between the grass and the new mulch bed where the trees are going in.

I've cleaned out beds where people put much (and paper, and "barrier cloth") over established lawns. What a mess. The grass roots (and weed roots) take forever to die and if the border isn't at least cut out with a hard border (or large gap) installed, grasses just invade quickly from the side.

I say do it right the first time :P
Sure, they will have to edge the bed somehow no matter what they do.....but since they are just going to leave it as a stand of trees with mulch under them, it won't matter a bit how long it takes the grass roots to die (I have St. Augustine, which is very tough and invasive....dies in one season). Totally unnecessary to remove the grass.

Stripes, you could try what CHTransplant said, and if any grass pokes its head up next spring, just give it a squirt of Roundup. (If you don't like Roundup, I've heard that vinegar will kill stuff!)
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 13,600,217 times
Reputation: 1509
I use the newspaper method. I have Bermuda mixed with centipede. Neither has come back through the paper (or cardboard). But wild onions have. If your lawn is fescue, just cover it and forget it. It's not hard to kill.
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