Bed Prep for Mulch Question? How to do it Chemical free

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by GreenGiant94, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. GreenGiant94

    GreenGiant94 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 271

    If you guys are doing a mulch job, how do you go about with bed prep with weeds? If you don't have a pesticide licenses then you cant treat it with anything correct? So do you pull the weeds and till up the bed and hope the layer of mulch will cut down on the amount of weeds that will come up? Do you guys that dont have a license dont mess with bed work and mulch? Do you hire some other company to do the treatment for you? So my question is if you dont do chemical treatments, is there a way to do quality bed prep work that will look good and last weeks after. Thanks
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Time of year is important in the strategy... I started b4 anyone ever heard of preen, or irrigation in the landscape for that matter...

    Cleaning out a bed in early Spring means taking out perennial roots and mulching the bed and keeping the surface dry, so seeds are not encouraged...

    Mid-Summer cleaning means getting rid of weeds b4 they go to seed along with any perennial roots... then keeping the surface dry so as not to encourage seed germination...
     
  3. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    You can weed wack every-thing down to the ground. Pull out the perennials or try putting a piece of cardboard over each of them. Make sure the perimeter of the garden is weeded pretty well, to a distance of a few inches from the edges.

    Then lay out landscape fabric, overlap the pieces. Cut out where the plants grow through with scissors. Then pin it down with nails or rocks. Don't let it wrinkle up in the wind-keep it flat and smooth.
    Finally lay two to three inches of bark mulch over that. Keep the mulch off of the trunks of the plants.

    The fabric allows the water to permeate to the plants, while it chokes out the weeds because it doesn't allow sunlight through. This method works great and is recommended in the British Columbia Landscape Standard. (now 10 people will say I'm wrong. hahaha)
     
  4. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Posts: 1,041

    Why would you take out the perennial roots
     
  5. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Things like dandelions and plantain will keep growing and reaching for the sun, right through the mulch unless you stop them some-how. Pulling out as much root as possible will lessen their energy reserve and control their growth.
     
  6. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Posts: 1,041

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhh perennial weeds gotcha now!:waving:
     
  7. GreenGiant94

    GreenGiant94 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 271

    Ok great guys thanks for the info so far! I wasnt sure if I was going to get many replies so this is great. Thanks
     
  8. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Posts: 1,041

    You are right, you can't use preen or like products if you are not registered in most places - that in it self is a good reason to get certified.
    Start clean your beds early as other have said that is key and take your time
     
  9. GreenGiant94

    GreenGiant94 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 271

    Is there a special landscape fabric you prefer or just anyone will do? Ive just heard some mixed reviews about how the fabric works and didn't know if there were different ones to choose from. Also do all of them have the same darkening to keep the sun light or or is that something that is special on certain rolls? Dont get me wrong, I really appreciate the help just trying to clarify. Thanks
     
  10. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Posts: 1,041

    I am not a fabric fan, I just tend to do a really good job clean out the gardens if you use fabric, you need to take the extra care to do it right.
     

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