View Full Version : Preen or plastic

03-19-2005, 05:13 PM
just got a large mulch job 10-12 yds. Well a little big for me. Here is the ?, the mulch is going to be around a large swing-set/ jungle jim. What would be the best weed guard preen or plastic? I say the plastic because there are no plants to deal with, it would also last longer, right? I also thought plastic against the dirt and then a little preen just so there is no weeds what so ever. Also i am thinking with the heavy traffic of the kids playing that weeds would have trouble germinating with the mulch being trampled on. Any suggestions would be great. thanks

03-19-2005, 05:22 PM
Go with the plastic. Pre-m of any kind would not be good around children. Preen contains Trifluralin. It's a good pre-m for the beds but not for play areas.

03-19-2005, 05:48 PM
thanks for the insight. i kind of thought preen would not be good for the kids sake.

03-19-2005, 08:08 PM
Read the specs on the preen. Prolly not a major problem using it. I don't ever suggest using plastic, especially if it's a high traffic area. The mulch will not bond and will tend to slide around on the smooth surface. If you must use a barrier use landscape fabric. Even that will slide until the mulch settles. Once the mulch begins to decompose weeds will grow in it unless treated.

03-19-2005, 09:36 PM
Weed seeds will still germinate in your mulch no matter what you have below it. Once they do germinate the roots can get caught up in whatever fabric you have below. Once you pull on the weed the fabric will come with it. Then you ned to try to tuck the fabric back in under the mulch. Fabric is nothing but a pain in my book.

D Felix
03-20-2005, 09:50 AM
If it's a play area, you probably should be using a mulch that is rated for playground use. Around here it's called Tenderturf or Softstep, depending on the supplier. Basically it's wood chips, but they have passed a certification (I think it's an ASTM cert) that they are fine for playgrounds.

DON'T use any plastic or fabric under ANY organic mulch. This has been discussed MANY, MANY times. The mulch will break down on top of the plastic/fabric and not incorporate into the soil. Then you will basically have soil on top of the barrier, and you will be right back where you started. As ML stated, the weeds will germinate on top of the barrier, in the mulch, and it'll be a major PITA!

If it's a heavy use area, the kids will keep the weeds down pretty well.


03-20-2005, 10:22 PM
D felix- i looked at the tenderturf site it looks exactly like what i need. do you a price by any chance.

Groundcover Solutions
03-22-2005, 02:53 AM
We do alot of playground installs, we have to work to code on all of them. If this is a new install the playground mulch (which is different than normal hardwood) should be anywhere from 12-18 inches deep for safety reasons. If you dig down this deep it helps to reduce weed growth also the depth prevents growth. Just make sure you are up to code on the playground material install. I also would not use chemicals. I know our material is cushion wood and i forget the other name but it is all certified by the state for use in playgrounds.

03-22-2005, 09:33 AM
Playground mulch or rubber mulch is a great thing for playgrounds. It has to be deep. At least 12".

03-22-2005, 07:01 PM
the homeownwe said that the playground people said it had to 6" deep, 6' around the structure. the thing is that the play area is connected to a preexisting mulch bed.

D Felix
03-23-2005, 06:19 PM
I didn't know there was a Tenderturf site, that's just what it's called at one of the suppliers here.

As for pricing, I don't know what it is. Seems like it's ~$25-30/yard, but I don't know if that's right or not.....


03-23-2005, 09:38 PM
ya i googled Tenderturf it comes from indiana and it looks like some good stuff

04-02-2005, 05:56 PM
the brochures i got on mulching around the playground from the manufactures who sell the play equipment said 9 inches of mulch depth. if the homeowner wanted the fabric under the mulch would you do it.
the area is large, the mulch will be 3 inches on the outer lying areas and 9 inches deep 6 ft around the structure.

D Felix
04-03-2005, 10:36 AM
I would try to explain that the fabric would do no good as far as weed control. The only thing that it *might* help with would be keeping soil out of the mulch, which could be a good thing.

However, where the kids swing, I can gaurantee you that the 9" will quickly get whittled down to almost nothing and the fabric will get ripped and then you will have a big mess....


04-03-2005, 06:59 PM
thanks D, i did not think about the swings, i will just tell the homeowner to keep an eye on the swing area and just smooth it out. he told me just 6" thats what the designers of the swing set reccomend, but i will go a little deeper just for peace of mind.

04-03-2005, 11:38 PM
I think another name is Playground Shocklab.If the customer wants you to put down fabric,all you can do is warn them of the possible problems that might arise (get it arise lol)from it's use and DO it for them if that's what they want after you warned them.Why throw money away by refusing work if they relly want it and are informed about it,do it .

04-04-2005, 02:14 PM
I don't do many playgound installs but I think the plastic would allow water to pool up and not filter through to the ground.

04-05-2005, 10:01 PM
Tumbled wood chips at least 18 inches deep, remember to protect yourself. Always error on the safe side when dealing with playgrounds, the homeowner might seem nice now; however when there kid falls and gets hurt you will have a lawsuit on your hands. There is a posting up about ASTM regs, find out what they are and build to those specs.