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do you put the weed blocker under mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Bret's Lawn Care, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    What arosewag said!!! Here, the witchgrass and convovolus go right under it and come up through it - virtually impossible to get rid of with fabric in place.

    We just removed yards and yards and yards of the stuff to rid the job of the 2 aforementioned vicious weeds.
  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    no fabric unless the customer requests it, I usually try and talk them out of it. I offer to put newspaper down instead, it will eventually biodegrade and the nutrients from the mulch breaking down still benefits the plant. Fabric no, newspaper sure.

  3. gqnine44

    gqnine44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Newspaper? I have never heard of putting this down under mulch. Do you seriously do this? Where did you get the idea? Does it work?
  4. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Yes it works but as others have pointed out weed seeds blow into and are carried into mulch beds. Outside of that it will help control weeds/make it easier to pull. I don't know where I got it to be honest, just something I grew up with, lots of oldtimers use paper, I guess around here anyway lots of youngtimers as well.

  5. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Newspaper rocks as weed barrier!! Use 10-15 sheets thick, overlap a bit to keep seeds from germinating between the sheets of papers. You can make 'circles' around existing plants by overlapping pieces. I have a preference for using the sections of the papers as they 'feed' off a stack (of papers)rather than opening the papers up, counting the sheets, and laying them out. Position 'em so the wind doesn't get under them between the time you lay 'em out and the time you put the mulch down. Once there is rain, surface tension binds the papers together under the mulch and it holds together well on all but the steepest slopes. On steep slopes, mulch will slide (on newspapers) in heavy rains

    I used truckloads to newspapers between rows at my daylily fields (about an acre). Got 'em for free from our local newspaper. 5 years later, the papers have decomposed by more than half (thickness) and are still doing the job. With newspapers, you can use about half the amount of shredded bark mulch you would ordinarily use to accomplish the same goal. You will need to top off with new mulch annually - but only a cosmetic amount to keep it looking great. OR, you can till it up if you're using it in a vegetable garden and it adds organic matter and air as it's tilled in. Bark nuggets don't work as well over newspapers because they slide around too easily.

    Be sure to leave extra space around the bases of plants if you're using them around things whose bases will expand significantly (ie. perennials vs. trees or shrubs) with time. DO NOT be concerned about lead in ink - all newspaper ink is soy-based nowadays. Colored inks may or may not contain unbdesirable chemicals. I don't use colored supplements or glossy advertisements for that reason. But I'm told that most of them are soy-based, also: I just haven't validated that info yet.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    People around here do not like herbicides constantly sprayed around in their gardens.I can't see useing something that breaks down so quickly as newspaper as a worthy method of controlling weeds in clients yards.
    Plus it seems to me it would be a pain to do.If I thing it is a good place to use it I do,under rock for sure but there are many applications for it other places too.I have used it under mulch and it keeps the majority of weeds down for at least 2 years,and if you pull what does come up and don't let it go to seed,your farther ahead of the game.
    So i would say I am 50/50 on it's use.
  7. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I like using the weed barrier, only because once weeds DO start growing in, its alot eaiser to get them out because most of the time the seeds dont get through the barrier and all you have to do it pull it out of the mulch and not have to struggle with it. In my oppinion, its worth the extra expense only because it makes it easier to pull the weeds out (again because they cant get through into the ground, they just attach to the mulch instead).
  8. GLC51

    GLC51 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Under hard mulches but not under soft ones. As far as the newspaper goes I use that too. Lay it down and wet it to keep it from blowing around. Easy way to set up new garden beds lay down the newspaper and pile the new dirt on top, it smothers the grass and will break down in time.
  9. REENO

    REENO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    would you use newspapaper if your planting vegetation?
  10. Gators_Aerator

    Gators_Aerator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Newspaper is great. I prefer it over weed fabric. It lasts between one and two seasons depending on thickness.

    Yes, you can plant in it or lay it down after you plant.

    Then when you have to weed or replant or fix the bed you don't have to worry about fabric and the weed roots.

    Use newspaper to nourish the soil and charge them for paper underlayment / weed guard. Sounds expensive.

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