Help with hell strip: what to do

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,867

    Guys,


    I have a lawn customer that has an impossible hell strip I need to help him decide what to do with. It is about 80 ft long and a boulevard area between the sidewalk and street. Most of it is about 3-4 feet wide. I currently just spray the weeds in there, and since that is all that will grow, it has been a dead space for the last couple seasons. I would like to help him transform this area into something functional and decent looking. Removing/replacing soil and re-seeding is not an option as grass would not survive long term in there. Also, I must mention that this is also a high foot traffic area with frequent street-side parking there.

    Do we have any ideas other than simply doing a complete paver or stone job on it? Could I work in some drought tolerant ornamental grasses or other tough-as-nails perennials into the plan? Or is adding any plants at all trouble due to the foot traffic?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    Fake grass. It always looks perfect and doesn't need any work.
     
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,867

    Do you have a specific product you could refer me to?
     
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,113

    mulch or stones
     
  5. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    tough without seeing it but the way it sounds i would push for stones
     
  6. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    A xeriscape model could fit that space, if it's allowed by local zoning. If you were to do plants, choose height and allow space for people to cut through if you think that they simply will not go around. Mulch those areas in between. That's a pretty common planting scheme for many commercial parking lot spaces where people will cut through. You'll have to renew mulch occasionally and to establish plants, you may need at least some sort of watering method unless it's cactus...lol. By choosing height, they are far less likely to get trampled, particularly if you leave space to cut through. How high, is once again dependent on local ordinance and the what is behind that parkstrip (like a business that may not want any obscuring from the street) If you want to force people to go around, shrubs like barberry and pyracantha can drastically alter foot traffic, at least the regular kind..lol.

    Otherwise, hardscape it in with brick, pavers, cement or rock. You'll still have some weed control to do, it just won't be as much.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    That strip of ground is generally owned by the city,,, in fact the city can tell you what to do with your sidewalk,,, in ost cases...
    The hell strip as you call it is subject to any kind of winter abuse the city deems necessary on that street... salt, gravel, or ples of all the above makes no difference... therefore I would not bother withstone or mulch, unless you think it will be safe...
    The barberry idea isn't bad,,, but perennials are easy cleanup and if they can overpower any weed pressure, that,, might be the way to go...
     
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,113

    fill it in with concrete. :laugh:
     
  9. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,202

    I'm guessing what ever you put there would get salt damage yearly and sand build also.

    Pavers, concrete (maybe some stamped stuff), regular gravel would work. Any landscape rock (pea gravel, river rock, etc). Mulch would break down and be a yearly expense but works also (foot traffic could make this need a 2nd topdress mid summer).

    Any trees on this? I have a HOA with a similar situation and pavers were the first choice but tree roots would of been in the way etc. I talked them out of pea gravel as kids would play in it and with mowers close by a window a year would be broke.
     
  10. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,374

    The reason grass will not grow there is due to the salt off th treet in the winter. I seeded a lot of ground for our city with salt tolerant seed, worked well until tru green killed off. But the seed is not cheap.
     

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