So we're getting a deck, and....

gshann(Z6 PA ChesCo.)April 27, 2006

I had planned to kill all the grass, put down some contractor-grade weed barrier, get a ton of crushed gravel, and pretty much cover the entire area that would be under the deck. But do I need to go through all of that? The deck will be a maximum of 2-3 feet off the ground, so sunlight really won't have any angle to get in. Should I not invest the time and money? My last deck was 4-5 feet off the ground, and the sunlight managed to get through the tough angle, lattice, and plantings to sprout some weeds. I am 6'3", and I could bend myself to get under that one, but this one ain't happening. Do I have anything to worry about?

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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

I don't think you need to kill the grass (subjectiing yourself, your yard, your family and various animals to the poisons in grass killer) nor haul tons of gravel (ouch).

I've had a great deal of luck just putting down plastic weed barrier, stapling it in place with landscaper staples ($10 a box at the Orange Home Store) and covering with a very thick layer of Cedar mulch (3-4 inches). The grass will die for lack of sunlight, and it won't come back.

I used this method under (1 gal) bushes that I planted around the outside of a chain link fence for a hedge effect. I even had a soaker hose over the plastic barrier, so that the bushes would get plenty of water. Still, the grass died and never came back.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 8:54AM
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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

i second that!

why risk injury and unnecessary work on yourself. i think the weed fabric is enough. they sell that playground mulch now, which is probably a good idea for underneath.

do you have pets? would they find their way under the coolness of the deck on a summer afternoon? the rocks would be uncomfortable.

good luck with your project.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 4:18PM
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gshann(Z6 PA ChesCo.)

Thanks for the feedback!! I tend to be a little stubborn and like to address problems (real or imagined) with brute strength rather than logic and reason. But seriously, no pets, and I looked into that playground mulch, and while it sounds like a good idea, at $11.00 a bag I'll pass. I'll either go the mulch route or pine bark nuggets. I've gotten them before, and the wife hates the look of them, so if I put them somewhere useful that she can't see, we both win!! The rock would cost about half, but in the end the mulch will probably win out.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 5:34PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Also consider a lattice or something around the base of the deck once its done. Otherwise you may have some interesting "things" that will make a home under the deck (both my sisters bemoan their "things" - usually groundhogs - that have taken up residence under their decks).

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 1:13PM
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gshann(Z6 PA ChesCo.)

Yes, we've had those at our last deck. My concern was being unable to get in after it if something were to take root (animal or vegetable). As it turns out, I returned home Friday night, and a good deal of work had already been done, so it seems like the decision is made for me. Probably just as well. I'll certainly look into some lattice for the area between the deck and the ground, but if I know critters, they'll find a way underneath anyhow...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 12:35PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I was puzzling over this very same issue recently... a small new deck, about 18" from the ground, with grass underneath it. No skirting or lattice to deal with.

I had some big heavy plastic mats out in the barn, and used them to cover the grass underneath the deck. I dug and planted new beds around the deck, and extended the mulch under the deck about 2 feet, on top of the plastic. Looks great, no grass.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 5:36PM
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