reducing weeds in rock garden

madtripper(5/6 Guelph)August 10, 2011

I love small plants and especially hen and chicks. The problem I have is that these rock garden beds require more work weeding than any other beds. Larger perennials cover the ground and keep weeds out.

Any suggestions for reducing maintenence?

Right now the beds have sandy soil with wood mulch. I was thinking of digging them out and replacing with just sand and gravel to see if this reduces weeds. If it is mostly gravel it might dry out quick enough to kill off most weeds.

Another option is to make a special bed where the soil depth is very low.

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leftwood(z4a MN)

Yes, indeed! You should find that Sempervivum species do better with a rock mulch, rather than wood. There is no need for all that moisture conservation, especially in your climate. Rock and sand will also make it easier to pull out weeds. let your Hen and Chicks grow tightly congested, and you may find that any weeds that find there way up through them will be pinched by the Hen and Chicks foliage as it grows, and partially pulling the weed seedling out of the soil. These are surprisingly easy to pull, as often they are holding on for dear life with a few single threads of root!

Rick

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 9:22PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

Weeds have made my tiny rock garden the most labor intensive little area in the garden, other than the Summer vegetables.
3 years ago I lifted and potted up any valued plants. Used weed killer to kill all that was left. Bought new rocks and arranged them all as naturally as I could and put plants back. Weeding every couple of weeks, at least, or any time I think of it. But some plants spread and help crowd weeds out.
Some of them tend to act like weeds, themselves.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 10:35PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I use burlap bags under the mulch/sand or rock/stones.
It helps with any thing that come out of the soil.
The wind & birds are another matter.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:39PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

You have basically answered your question. In your perennial garden you have a lot of plants that keep the weeds in check. It is the same in a succulent garden.

Start with sedum as a ground cover. Then you add your rocks semps and other rock garden plants.

Here is my garden... Notice he amount of rocks and the plantings are in pockets. Weeds do not grow on rocks. The planting pockets are stuffed with plants so you do not get weeds just as a stuffed perennial garden have few weeds.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 10:06AM
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