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TuffWork
05-17-2011, 08:15 PM
I've got a customer that wants us to install dragons blood in between some stepping stones and let it grow in around all of the stones. The problem is that she has a weed problem in the area and will be fighting the weeds until all the dragon's blood is grown in. Her idea was to put landscaping cloth underneath the whole area and plant the dragons blood and let it grow over the cloth. However, I told her I did not think that would work because the dragon's blood will not have a way to develop a root system in the areas it tries to move to because of the cloth. So, I told her that maybe what I could do is pull the weeds or use a trimmer to get them out and she could use some type of pre-em on the area. I figure that the dragon's blood won't have any trouble creeping when a pre-em is applied because it is already germinated.

What type of pre-em could I use that won't be harmful to her grandkids or dogs? I was thinking maybe to have her put down some preen after I'm done. Will a pre-em hinder the spread of the dragon's blood? Was I wrong about the landscaping cloth idea? Should she just water it a ton and get that stuff to grow in quickly so that it will choke out any weeds?

Smallaxe
05-18-2011, 10:05 AM
Mulch over the top of the cloth, with the parent plant set in a hole cut into the cloth... The spreading habit of Dragon's blood is not familiar to me, but if it spreads above the soil it will root in the mulch and roots will grow into the soil through the cloth, and enlarge withut much hinderance...

If it spreads under the soil, you will not have much luck with cloth... and if you're just filling in between rocks, how much space are you talking about anyways? Eventually there is rooms for only the strongest plant, but it will take a season of monitoring and care to make it happen...

Lot's of factors to consider in your situation... :)

TuffWork
05-18-2011, 09:08 PM
Yep, lots of factors. That's why I asked here. I can see it penetrating pretty easy once roots have been established. I think that's probably a pretty good answer. My only worry is that she won't take care of it properly and then it will be "my fault" that it didn't work.

As far as the space goes, it is probably 100 square feet tops. With rocks that obviously vary in size but are about 1 square foot each with 3 to 5 inches of spacing between. We have probably 20-30 plants to put in that will probably be spaced 8 to 10 inches apart and hopefully grow together. I've seen this done at other properties I maintain. Maybe I should ask the homeowners there how they did it.

Smallaxe
05-18-2011, 10:53 PM
Just tell her the responsibilities along with the expectations... make her understand that you can't do it all while she does nothing unless she pays you to do everything... Don't be a sucker...

TuffWork
05-19-2011, 11:00 PM
As far as the watering goes I plan to tell her to put out a soaker hose on a timer. She plans on going out of town soon so I see that as the best solution. I may even offer to go buy them for her (if she will pay for them) just so I don't see my hard work go to waste.

Kate Butler
06-01-2011, 09:25 PM
Sedum 'Dragon's blood' will not tolerate foot traffic - planting it between stepping stones is not a great idea.