What else can you use for a ground cover for..

swilly(9)April 7, 2004

Other than gravel and mulch, what else can be used as a ground cover to cover a large area? Weeds are growing there now, which my husband keeps mowed. People think it's grass but there weeds. I have made raised beds and a large bed against the fence. I have trees planted and plan to put lots of large containers on this area, I also have a garden shed.. I had been thinking of gravel all along but have read where some say no way to gravel. I like the "clean" look of gravel. We are going to build a pergola and put flagstone down as the floor. Gravel would look nice around the flagstone but is there something else we can use? With mulch I'll have to add more every year. Any suggestions?



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gravel's a pain anywhere but the desert (and maybe in the prairie, where the are no trees)

why not just extend the area of flagstones, if you're freaked out by the meadow? then edge that area to go with the pergola.

you might also want to look around and see how the term 'lawn' has expanded in the last 20 years from 'fescue monoculture' to something a bit more natural-

http://longwoodgardens.com has some good observations on why they started making friends with the 'weeds' in their lawn

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 2:07PM
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The previous owners of this place used white stone around stepping stones and in some of the planting beds leading from the parking area to the "company" entry. It doesn't stay in place even though there are edgings and when I want to plant something else, I just dig in those (expletive deleted) rocks. They used no weed barrier fabric under them so weeds still grow quite well around them, thank you. One of these days when I have time, I'm going to pretend I'm a New England farmer and literally pick them up one by one and take them down to the creek for disposal.

When I do rework this area, I'm going to use larger stepping stones or flagstones and plant a low growing ground cover like creeping thyme around them. At least it will smell good when I walk through that area.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 3:12PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Hey there: It sounds like you are not intending to use the graveled area for planting. You are actually going to use it as a patio area and as a substitute for paving. I have done this several times and it works out very well as long as I don't let it work it's way to suround the plants. It is important to use an underlayment that will keep the gravel separate from the dirt. That makes a mess that is impossible to deal with. I tried 6 mil plastic and that created a bunch of little lakes that attracted mosquitos, collected dirt that turned into mud and was just a pain. Newspapers worked for a while but they break down quickly. A single layer of landscaping cloth placed edge to edge allowed the gravel to work its way under the barrier and the edges would work their way up. Not pretty. I finally used the landscaping cloth overlapped several inches and pinned with garden staples. It is important that ALL the area to be covered is treated with Roundup or other vegetation killer and then a pre-emergent vegetation killer is used before the landscaping cloth is laid. Low areas should be filled to eliminate ponding.Riverbed rock is applied to two inches in depth. Heavily trafficed areas and under chair legs should have pavers to avoid tearing the cloth. In a poorly drained area, I cut the bottom from a 5 gallon plastic bucket and sank it where the water made the ground soft. It was then filled with more gravel. No more soft spots. It also let me put in drainage pipe where huge quantities of water came off of a large slopeing meadow that threatened to come in my living room. I used this when it was not feasable to pave an area and it worked out just fine. I was even able to remove a section when I wanted to change the location of a bed. - Sandy

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 3:41PM
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Remember that hardscaping will hold and radiate heat. Only cacti can survive nearby. Hot on critters, too.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 10:52PM
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