Mulch and Weeds

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by TriageLawn, May 30, 2011.

  1. TriageLawn

    TriageLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    How do you guys deal with the weeds that popup through the mulch? I am doing 3 yards (same subdivision) that clearly may have that problem. Right now they use pinestraw. The HOA in that subdivision is making everyone switch to mulch because they claim mulch will give a cleaner look to the neighborhood.

    I have gotten calls because I have a customer in that neighborhood. She kindly requested my services and now I am booming. I need help. Before you add the mulch, how do you prep the ground. The mulch I buy is supposed to kill 90% of the weeds but I want to make sure I get as much as I can. Here is what I am doing...

    I will be removing the pinestraw and installing mulch. Do I spray roundup before I install the mulch or do I pay someone that has a license to do that.

    what would you do
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,133

    Spraying roundup before you install mulch won't do anything. You'd need to mulch, then add a pre-emergent like Snapshot, then as the weeds pop up, spray with roundup.
  3. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,738

    As much as it sucks I go around with a small hand held rake/hoe tool and prep before I mulch. I usually remove all of the big stuff and most of the small stuff. Then I normally spray weed killer (roundup or lesco) anywhere not near plants or the edge on just small weeds. Then I lay Preen (weed pre emergent) and that usually does the trick for most of the year. It costs the customer more but it leaves the job nicer longer!
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,133

    Maybe I misunderstood, sorry. You can spray the existing weeds with roundup, but I somehow thought you mean you'd be using round up as a pre-m. Sorry on my part.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Yes, you need someone with a license to apply it.

    Generally speaking, all my mulch clients are on some sort of follow up program or landscape maintenance program so I always am able to spot spray if anymore weeds come up.

    Snapshot is a definite must if you want season long weed control with minimal follow up time.
  6. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Yup in that case. I would take out the pine straw, then cultuvate up the soil with a small little tiller or mantis. Get out all the big weeds, spray the bed then, and add in snapshot. We will then usually water it in a little since water is needed to activate the product. Then simply mulch. We will usually too split up the snap shot applications.

    Sheet calls for 2.3 to 4.6 lbs per k per year. During the initial mulcing we will do 2.3 lbs. We will put down a little more than 1 on the actual base (in this case its the soil, water it in.) Then we will mulch and put down a little more again (slightly more than 1 lb) water that in and slightly rake the mulch a little to get it further in.

    THen again in the summer (since majority of our clients are on a bed program afterwords) we will till up the mulch to break it up and freshen it up, and apply another 2.3lbs/k again to last the rest of the season. Works out really good.

    If its a one time account we will just do 4.6 lbs at the mulcing and split it up 2.3 and 2.3.
  7. jwsland

    jwsland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I've never used snapshot, but preen never produced good results for me unless it used year after year. One application won't control weeds all that well imo.

    We always pull the weeds before we mulch, spray the tiny stuff and getting the customers to agree to a follow up service like mentioned is recommended.
  8. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Snapshot and preen are pretty much the same product. But yes it does need to be used year after year. Thats why we do split applications as well. We get better control out of the late season weeds (at least here since we have two rounds of weeds in the midwest, spring and then fall). We have had great success with it this way. Big problem is too, that most people dont actually follow the instructions of the application. Snapshot needs to be watered in within 48 hours of application to be effective. thats why generally we will apply, water in, mulch, apply, water in. If they have an irrigation system and its up an running, we wont water in after the second application.

    Snapshot wont kill the existing weeds. So you need to deal with the big ones, spray the small little ones (grasses, etc). Then our follow up is usually weekly inspection of all the beds. Any weeds we see get pulled out or spot sprayed if they are really small with round up. Then mid summer next application of snapshot. Been using this program for the past 2 years and have had great success.

    another big part is ensuring you are putting down sufficent mulch. I believe perfect earth even made a post about this once. Most companies will simply put down a light topdressing of mulch each year when they re mulch beds. Just enough to give it that new color. No WRONG! You need to get a nice 2" sometimes even 3" of mulch each year when remulching. This will substantially reduce weed development and aid in the overall health of the plants. Since you are taking out the straw I would go with 4" of mulch to get a good layer down, then each year put down a minimum of 2" of fresh mulch.
  9. YardPro2008

    YardPro2008 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 8

    Snapshot and Preen are nothing alike.. Isoxaben is not in Preen.. That gets all the broadleaf weeds.. Preen has nothing for broadleaf weeds.

    It needs water 3-4 days, not 48 hours.
  10. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    We have this book of recommended landscape practices here. It's written by the
    landscape architect society and the landscape association so that we're on the same page when it comes to installation and maintenance procedures.

    Remove the big weeds if you can, especially around the perimeter and near plants.
    Weed wack things to ground level and rake out if you want.

    The landscape standard says to: lay down landscape fabric and a minimum of three inches of bark mulch for good weed suppression. Top up with one inch of bark mulch
    every year.

    Over time, as the bark mulch decomposes it will create a nitrogen deficiency and you will eventually get nitrogen fixing weeds like buttercup and clover, which you can carefully spray with
    2, 4-D/mecoprop/dicamba (in Canada) or Fiesta the iron spray, or even vinegar...
    so you don't hurt the plants
    or you can carefully use a glyphosate at that time.

    You really don't have to use all of those pre-emergents. Look at non-toxic alternatives!

    I know alot of people won't agree, but I don't care. I know what works here.

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