Landscaping large areas

twangme(9)August 7, 2013

Hello! Newbie here. Finally getting to landscape our ranch. Several different areas ranging in size from 10' x 10' to 20' x 60' plus other larger wide open areas. We have clay soil with lots of weeds-Johnson grass, buckeye, melva, and the dreaded crabgrass plus various others that die and leave a not-so-lovely tan landscape. I'm so tired of looking at dirt and dead weeds! I'm looking for advice to create a clean easy-keeper style landscape. I've purchased a bunch of Crepe Myrtles, Chinese Pistache and geraniums. Looking to get some Oaks, and fruitless Mulberry. Tell me if this will work... I would like to plant trees interspaced with large boulders and geraniums and probably other perennials and some annuals. The rest of the ground I want completely clear of weeds, plants and grass. Question--Can I spray the weeds with Roundup then lay shade cloth/weed block over the top then cover that with dirt/bark/gravel? Will the Roundup kill the trees and plants?

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calistoga_al

It sounds like a great project, also an expensive one. Before you make too many costly mistakes, that will require doing over, I would suggest you spend a few more dollars to hire a professional to consult on your plan. It is so easy to forget some detail, like running the water lines to provide future flexibility or changes in the future. Al

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:12AM
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emmarene

Round Up will kill any plant if it gets on the leaves.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 4:00PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Yes, you can use roundup to kill off the weeds. However, don't put down weed barrier. It will be a nightmare in the longrun and outrageously expensive in the shortrun. as the mulch decomposes it turns into soil and then the weeds just grow in that and now the weed barrier does nothing except get in the way. Once you have done a few grow/kill cycles with glyphosate (roundup) you won't have a bad weed problem. Just make sure to hit the weeds before they go to seed. Never allow them to go to seed. Now for mulch, just contact a local arborist and have them dump truckloads of wood chips on your property. If you take the whole load, it should be free. Lay down at least 4 inches. In heavy clay restoration projects, foresters have been known to lay down a foot of arborist wood chips.

Glyphosate does not kill everything it touches, but it does kill most everything it touches. That said, I have never had it kill a tree just because I sprayed some weeds in the understory.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:23AM
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calistoga_al

emmarene how I wish it were so. Some plants have a waxy surface on the leaves that repels any herbicide. Spraying roundup around plants with no leaves, or avoiding spraying onto existing leaves, does no harm to the plant. Most vineyards here in the Napa valley are routinely sprayed around the vines, even when leafed out, by using a low pressure on windless days. Al

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:26AM
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emmarene

I just meant to say it had to go on the leaves as opposed to the bark; Many years ago I tried to use it on Algerian Ivy. Of course it failed. Over about a four year span I did get rid of the ivy the old fashioned way.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:31PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Round-up, especially in the spring after all of the weeds just start to grow, then mulch mulch mulch. Weed cloth is awful- it doesn't work. Trees are a good idea. I'm not a fan of fruitless mulberry trees, though. Too much pruning, which gets expensive.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 1:56AM
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twangme(9)

Thanks for the great advice. OK no weed cloth, spray round up on every existing weed, mulch mulch mulch. Round up on a regular basis. I'm going the super easy route with the water-hose and sprinklers above ground and on a timer- no drip line, no buried lines. For the trees... I like the Mulberry because they grow quickly and provide a large expanse of shade which I desperately need. Any other suggestions. I have unlimited space and airspace. The temps here are 30-115 degrees.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:17PM
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