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Installing Weedblock

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Discip, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Discip

    Discip LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey everyone! I am looking at installing a loose-rock border around a house. This includes digging a shallow trench around the house, laying down weed-block and a plastic trim, and scattering the loose river rock evenly around the house?

    My questions are:

    How can I efficiently dig the trench with a slope so that rain water will naturally flow away from the house? What tools should I use? (The trench will be very long and wide, but also very shallow. Like: 20ft x 5 ft x 2.25 inches.)

    What is the best way to install and secure down weed-block against the house and along the breadth of the ground?

  2. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    To dig a trench you could use a shovel and grade with a rake??? To secure weed block you could use sod staples.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,222

    I assume you are using like a Winona River rock for the job? That is what I mainly use, 1 1/2 inch rock. If so, you don't need anything to secure the landscape fabric, the rock does it for you. You only need fabric pins if you are using mulch or other lightweight material.

    What is this trench you speak of? Is there sod right up to the foundation now? If so, rent a sod cutter (manual or power) and cut the sod off as far out from the foundation as you want to go. That will provide the height relief you need to edge and contain the rock (couple inches). I wouldn't worry about grading away from the house. That should already have been done when the house was built. If you do have bad slopes in places, just add some dirt to slope away from the house.

    Also, use high quality fabric, not black plastic for peats sake. I use Dewitt Pro5 and put down a layer of Preen under the fabric to ****** grass growth. Stake your edging down HARD too - here in MN it will heave right away next spring if it isn't staked with good 12" spikes.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I use staples.

    The first time you go to pull a weed that has rooted into the fabric, you'll pull it up without staples. Then it's a pain to try and push back down.

    Preen is a Pre-Em, does nothing to ****** grass growth.

    I would dig your trench, and use something for the edging. Otherwise you'll have grass that will encroach back into your rock bed. I usually do a brick and mortar edging, or, if the customer request cobblestone, then I'll mortar that in. My first run of fabric always goes into the trench I've dug, then mortar, then the brick.

    At the edge of a house, you can over-lap the fabric against the house and trim it to look nice. The rock will help hold it against the house, but, you'll eventually will get something that will grow there.

    As for grade, I try to put a dip in my edging along the run to allow water to escape if it builds behind my edging. So far I haven't had any problems with water issues.
  5. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    I would stick to this post, knowledge is power.....
  6. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Dig down 5-6 inches and you'll have a permanent solution for weeds as opposed to a temporary one using weedblock. Weedblock is ALWAYS A TEMPORARY SOLUTION. It just never lasts, weeds will come back.

    Weed seeds need light and dirt to germinate, when you dig down 5-6 inches and fill with rocks you deny both.

    Another added benefit of digging down further is you will get much better drainage.

    A job worth doing is worth doing right, It will be more labor and stone for the deeper trench but it will be a permanent solution. Digging down only 2-3 inches is like painting your house and not using primer- won't last.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,222

    You guys from out of state are off on this. You don't trench down in Minnesota clay - you are just asking for waterlogged landscape plants. I have been there and done that - MN clay retains water like crazy unless you amend. I landscaped around my home 3 1/2 years ago, used quality fabric, and only took off the sod, and rocked in with Winona rock. Not a problem in sight. If it gets some weeds in like 10 years, so what, by then the landscape plants are probably getting old and time to redo anyway.

    A previous poster also said Preen does nothing to ****** grass germination. ??? I sprinkle this around the foundation just before laying fabric to do exactly that, keep grassy weeds from coming up there.
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    All Preen does is kill off any existing seed in the soil. Roundup will kill everything off and is more effective.

    Also, if your fabric is installed correctly, then you really don't need to put anything down as the fabric and rock will kill anything underneath. I still spray roundup though as an added precaution.

    If you stop using preen under fabric, then I guarantee that you won't have any different results. If you try this, and you do see a difference in the amount of weeds, then I'll send you a six-pack. Thumbs Up:drinkup:
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,222

    Agreed roundup would be good for existing weeds, but not seed germination - the reason I use Preen is to keep grass germination down at least for a span of time right at the foundation line. Perhaps you are right maybe my results would be as good if I don't use it. But its an inexpensive insurance policy.
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    True, very true.

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