Weed in stone-lined bed

cnfwriterMay 30, 2007


We have a garden area in the front of our home, like most people. When we first moved in, we immediately got rid of all the mulch in that area and replaced with river pebbles, which we really like. A few years later we're finding weeds growing between the stones and it's really starting to look ratty. Any tips on the easiest way to keep an area such as this looking good w/o killing existing small shrubs and flowers scattered throughout the bed?



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There are several ways.

Carefully applied weed killer like Roundup will work. Use it on a windless day, be sure of the temperature range shown on the container, maybe use it with a sponge type paint brush instead of spraying if the desirable plants are close together. Some especially tough weeds may need a second application.

There is a torch type device that can be used also. It kills the top, not the root, and may need to be used repeatedly on some weeds. Use extreme caution with this device if there are children or pets in the area.

Then there's the old fashioned way. Dig them up and dig them up and dig them up. You just about have to dig in order to get the root systems out or they will continue to come back.

To keep the area relatively weed free, you may need to remove the stones and put down a weed block fabric. This will stop most weeds from coming up from underneath but a certain amount of debris will collect in the rocks over time and new seeds will sprout on top.

Unfortunately, weeding is a never ending job for the gardener. There are ways to make it less difficult but nature will find a crack in just about anything and plant a seed there.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Thanks Sandy.

The "dig the up" strategy is what we have been doing, but it is a fairly large area and the process is long and arduous. I thought about the "weed barrier" solution too, which I may have to do. I made the mistaken assumption in the beginning that the stones would keep the sun from hitting the ground and weeds would not be able to grow. It's amazing, actually, that life finds a way in even the most microscopic of opportunities.

I'm not really a fan of chemicals. I need to do some research on natural weed killers, if there is such a thing.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Hi Mike,

IÂm in the process of weed control too!!! I purchased from LoweÂs a 3' x 300' Weed Control Fabric roll for less than 50.00 bucks in addition to the 75 Pack Landscape Anchor Pins.

I completed one side and almost finished the other side. However, in addition -- I purchased a TASK FORCE 18V Cordless weed trimmer/ edger from Lowes also-- for the others areas of concern and I am absolutely satisfied with the result.

The weeds are now much more manageable especially when you deal with medical issues.

Good Luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Weed Control Fabric(s)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 1:27PM
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Thanks ipc,

I should have done the weed fabric from the beginning. That may be what I ultimately do too. For now, I read through these excellent forums and noted that vinegar could be used for weed control. I'll probably give that a try for now.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 3:42PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Rock mulch is not forever....it collects debris and provides a bed for weeds to seed....even if you have that landscape stuff under it.
But that presents another problem, as the stuff ( blown in dirt, crumbled leaves,seed casings from trees, insect bodies...who knows what) that allows weeds to grow will also fill the pores in that landscape fabric and prevent water from getting through. It also prevents the exchange of air and organisms between the atmosphere and the soil. In short your garden soil will turn to a slimy, compact, unfriendly to plants muck.
Twice I have removed that stuff that had been in place about 5 years from houses my daughter has owned....and twice I have removed that black plastic stuff...once in a house I bought and once in one of my son's.
Bark or wood chips is the best and the easiest way to go. It's easier to apply than rock, cheaper, and when it gets to growing weeds...just lay down some more. And as an added bonus it decomposes and improves your soil at no additional cost.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:04PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Vinegar to kill weeds needs to be 20% acidity ( the stuff for salads is 5%) and it burns the tops but won't kill the roots. And it's potentially more harmful to people than Round up.
Dump the rock....get some organic mulch.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:14PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Get a spray bottle and use vinegar. Or you can pour boiling water and the effects negate immediately a few inches away.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:54PM
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