Stones or Rubber mulch to keep weeds away?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jonspolaris, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    I have an elderly couple near-by that wants me do redo some of their landscaping. They currently have cypress mulch covering the ground. The problem is it is near a row of austrian pines and pine seedlings are constantly germinating and growing in the mulch. They also get a lot of weeds and grass growth.They want something that they wont have to worring about going and weeding every week.

    Would you recomend small stones on weed fabric, rubber mulch, or another alternative?

  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    no matter what you put down it will only get completely covered by pine straw within a few months. Unless the (or you ) are gonna continuously remove the pinestraw, you will have compost within 2 years and growing seedlings again.

    Suggestion, Round up once a month or whack them down with the trimmer, or both.
  3. desertrat

    desertrat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Best thing to keep weeds out of a yard is to pull them, spray pre-emergent and round up, repeat process for ever. Rock, plastic and anything else will NOT keep weeds from growing. I do not have 1 weed in my yard, because I pull them and spray.
  4. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    The pine straw doesnet fall on the landscape areas because its about 50ft away from the pine trees.
    They dont have many weeds in the lawn. Its the landscaped areas that do. The grass and weeds seem to thrive in the cypress multch.
    I was wondering if there was somthing that I could replace the cypress mulch with that wouldent let seedlings or weeds grow in it.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I use what we call Gorrilla Hair mulch and it's a shredded mulch that is not chips but more like strands of bark that matts up thick and keeps the weeds down.Rule #1 if a weed cannot get light it cannot germinate and grow.Rule #2-do not spray a herbicide under and around trees(my personal rule)
    use a thicker mulch and hoe out or pull the weeds out 1st.I do not recommend putting rock down in a weed infested area .but if you do the above and then sell them a maintenance schedual and continue to keep up with the weed pulling before the weeds go to seed,it will be good in a few seasons.
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    It isn't really a question of the type of mulch. Maybe in your area going with a non-organic mulch will help. But here (Florida) we grow weeds 12 months of the year. The only way to handle them is some type of pre-emergent and some type of herbicide for those that get through the pre-emergent. Sell them on this service and don't worry about the rip out and install of new material. It will be an easy sell. $30 a month compared to $2000 one time. Hell, even at $65 monthly that is 30 months of control. And at least here you would have no luck with any "mulch" for 3 months much less 30.

    If you do decide to go with a non-organic mulch put down seawall liner fabric instead of weed fabric below it. water and air porous but sand is blocked so weed seeds will be too and it lasts 12-25 years.
  7. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Thanks, We are in SE michigan, Should I pick the weeds and then sprinkle a pre-emergence on the mulch? will this keep things from germinating? You would be surprised how fast some weeds and pine seedlings can grow in mulch.
    What pre-emgerence would you recomend i sprinkle on the mulch?
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    rumor has it that snapshot (I think that is the name) works great. I have never used it, but a competitor uses it and loves it. very pricey. Liquid Pre-M should work. You can even mix that in with the round up.

    Talk to your guys at lesco or your ag extension office.

    I have only been doing roundup twice monthly on spot weeds, but next season I am adding some pre emergence for the problem (read as over waterers) areas.
  9. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    You do have to be somewhat careful using pre-emergents. Certain plants can be harmed by them.

    I use Snapshot, but this chemical can damage some common plants such as purple coneflower, candytuft, hydrangeas, and others. You need to know what plants are in the beds, and which of them the pre-emergent could affect. The pre-emergent labels will have this information, as well as a listing of targeted weeds. FWIW, pine and other tree type of weeds are not listed on Snapshots label for controlling.

    And, personally, I hate rock mulch – especially if it borders a lawn. Ever try to edge a lawn that butts up to a bed covered with rock? For one thing, it is dangerous. I’ve had more than one rock flip back from the edger and nail me. Secondly, pulling small weeds out of rock is the pits.
  10. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130


    Is there anything I could get at HD or Lowes. We dont have a lesco dealer close. I need such a small quanity that I would have a lot left over if I bought snapshot. It its only about 10-15sq ft.

    Would Preen work?

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