Inbetween Garden Beds

FamilyLivingSimpleMarch 22, 2013

I am trying to decide what to do inbetween my garden beds. I have three large beds that fill my side yard. Right now its just mud, grass and moss. Next to the fence line it gets no sun so its muddy and not completely flat.

I was thinking just laying down newspaper then topping with pea gravel, but I think it would still get messy over time. So, is there any type of ground cover that I could use that is strong enough to walk on and would grow in the shade and the sun?

I should say I don't want to do grass because there isn't enough room for my mower and weed would still run rampant.

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there is very little if anything that you don't have to do some maintenance on at some's called gardening.

This post was edited by plantknitter on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 1:46

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:44AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

In your situation as described, I'd use pavers.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I would second the paver idea, depending on the size of the area that needs paving. If the area is between the fence and one bed or the fence and the short side of all three beds, it is feasible.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:01AM
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Wood chips are also frequently used for this purpose - free, easily replaced when necessary and pretty impervious to mud or weeds. It's what they use at the P-patches.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Pea garden is kind of a pain. Spreads where you don't want it, because it's easy to kick around, and I find that weeds take root pretty easily. On the other hand, it is easy to rake to help get rid of said weeds.

You could try crushed recycled concrete--this is becoming a popular alternative to gravel. It compacts really well. The only issue I can think of is that you don't know the source of the concrete--it could be from an older building with lead-based paints (this is why I didn't use it--I have a toddler and am pregnant with our second child; both of whom will be crawling our garden paths). And initially when you spread it there is a bit of dust.

I'd probably go with laying newspapers, a base coat of the cheapest gravel spread to 3" deep, and then a top coat (spread to 2" deep) of -1/4" gravel or decomposed granite or some other stone if it's affordable for you.

I'd forget the ground cover, most won't work for sustained walking areas. The Steppables series sold at some nurseries are good for infrequent travel over.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Since I have a continuous supply of wood chips, that's what I use.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:55PM
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@ Family Living Simple - Grass can be cut with a weed wacker in small areas. I use a grass hog to cut grass on slope areas where the mower can't go, it's easy and fast and a great workout.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:35PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

The solution here is not to plant grass where a mower can't go.
I think of grass a liquid and the shape should reflect that. A stream, a pool, a lake. Most people cut out beds in their lawn. The result is 'cut out' beds and the lawn loses it's flowing shape.
The shape of the lawn is more important than the shape of the beds, even if it's a small lawn in relation to the beds. Design the lawn first and what's left is the beds. The design works better that way. It flows.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:05AM
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Burlap coffee bags work well. They break down overtime and are easy on the knees when working in the beds.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

Lovely photo, botann.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 2:32PM
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