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Suppressing weeds with newspaper, l-scape fabric, & grav

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Suppressing weeds with newspaper, l-scape fabric, & grav

Postby » Apr 15, 2008 1:00 pm

Hi there! First-time poster, here. I've searched several times to see if this question has been answered previously, and couldn't find it...but forgive me if I've missed it!

Between our houses is a gravel bed that now grows weeds and unwanted grass; my neighbor and I are tired of the constant pulling. She wants us to scrape back the gravel and lay down a super-duper plastic ground cover, then recover it with the gravel. I'm anxious to save the large trees in the next bed (12+ feet away)---they already struggle with lack of water (lots of house and concrete driveway/sidewalks around them), and I'm afraid that if we put down (obviously) waterproof fabric, we'll cut off some of their water supply and kill them.

I've heard that you can lay down newspaper (1"? 3"?), then water-permeable landscape fabric (to stop the paper from coming through the gravel in ripped shreds), then replace the gravel...but don't know any of the exact logistics/measurements OR the sort of landscape fabric to use.

Does anyone have knowledge or experience with this? I'd appreciate any help, as she is ready to go, trees or no trees!
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Postby Grannygardener » Apr 15, 2008 5:17 pm

No need for plastic.Pull back the gravel, lay down 10-12 sheet thickness of newspaper or a layer of cardboard, wet it down and spread your gravel back .If you really want you can cover the paper with landscape cloth but it's an added expense.Weeds will come back from blowing seeds but will be easier to keep under control.
I've spent most of my time in the garden,the rest I've wasted. Edie Zone4A, Ont.
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Postby Venice » Apr 15, 2008 9:30 pm

We bought the landscape fabric and Home Depot, they have a few different kinds there, and really work great.

Good luck,

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Postby LeeInEdmonton » May 02, 2008 12:27 pm

Use care with respect to newspapers to suppress weeds. We did that one time & found that ANTS really like nesting under newspapers. Switched to garden cloth which did the trick while allowing water to pass through.
Ordinary plastic will not pass water. Done that too. Put plastic under interlocking blocks at the entry way to our walk-out basement to keep weeds out. During a very heavy rain, the hydraulics actually floated the cement blocks. Had to do the whole thing over using garden cloth.

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Postby dj_backq » May 03, 2008 11:12 pm

If you use news paper, try to only use the pages printed in black and white. Color inks contain heavy metals which could penetrate your soil. I use news paper in lots of places, usually they only last one season or two. Overlay them by 2 inches.


If man cheats the earth, the earth will cheat man.
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Postby Lizcordysmum » May 04, 2008 12:38 am

ah yes..gravel and what lies beneath. In my case it was wild blackberry vines.

so year one I laid down thick cardboard, the kind you get computers in, and new fridges, etc. I put compost, soil, vegatative waste on top, more soil, and PLANTED in it. The geraniums did well, nothing else did.

Year two, I have good soil...still major gravel beneath (did I really think it would disappear and I'd have good garden soil all the way down there? um..yeah..)

Unless you are poor, don't use plastic. Plastic works but it sends water elsewhere and gives you different problems. Use the cardboard, and or the newspaper, and the landscape cloth I'm poor and I've used old vinyl's pathetic.

The trees will be fine. Water them when they need it, the leaves will droop and you will know.

Welcome aboard!
Cordy's Mum, Liz
Rain Coast, BC Zone 7b/8a

Nae words, nae quarrel
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