one year after laying cardboard!

WaterTitan(z8a WA)May 19, 2005

well i had really bad weeds, so i layed cardboard last year to kill em'. i layed the cardboard thick got it wet, and then put loads of lawn clipping on that, wetted that, and then bark on that, and then more watering. well it was all good until now. i have weeds again. some are working their way inbetween the cardboard, and a few are going threw it. i can go out and just pull em out, but that sucks. i can go out and spray them, but then i gotta just pull dead weeds a couple days later. anything i spray the area with only gets the exposed leaves of the weeds, but doesn't stop new ones because it can't get through the grass clippings and cardboard to get down to the new weeds roots! does anyone know a way to get some weed killer down to the weeds. do they make weed killer spikes you can drive into the ground? is laying more bark and cardboard the answer? im kinda confused as to the best way to deal with this!!

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ginger_nh(z4 NH)

When you have aggressive weeds with deep tap roots like dandelion and dock, you need to mow a couple of times, remove the deep tap root weeds by hand, perhaps spray with an organic herbicide like Burnout(acetic acid), THEN put down your cardborad. Also, the layers need to be deep enough and the materials dense enough to block much of the light.

This technique works better when garden soil is being prepared on a base of lawn grass rather than a thin weed barrier of wet cardboard and organic mulch being prepared over a base of aggressive weeds.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 9:15PM
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WaterTitan(z8a WA)

well it won't be fun or easy but i think your right. the only way to really get em is start over. this is a big area we're talkin'! should take like 2 weeks, but in the end it will be done rite!! its weird though i think its cause its on a hillside cause everywhere else i did it is flat, and there are absolutely no weeds on the flat parts!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 1:12AM
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Use Roundup - the weeds will absorb it to the roots.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 9:46AM
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PuraVida(Costa Rica)

Well if it's been a year, I'd say that wasn't bad.

I wouldn't resort to weed killers, just keep laying down cardboard or newspapers and mulching on top. It is an 'on going' way of doing things, but the weeds will be less and less each year.

Unless you really want to do some hard work don't.

Pura Vida

Here is a link that might be useful: garden blog

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 11:28AM
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lilies4me's great. put cardboard or cloth over the plants you want to keep. The sprayed weeds will die down to their roots...then you can continue with bark mulch and shortly you'll have nearly a weedfree flowerbed. Roundup works and when used according to direction (simple to do) it really reduces the work of weeding enormous flowerbeds.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 3:03PM
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gardener64(zone 5)

I agree about Roundup but cover anything you want to keep, then just leave the weeds, rake back the mulch put more cardboard, newspaper, plastic whatever you are using, I covered an area with left over shingles in the fall we'll see in the spring what comes thru them and recover with mulch
good luck

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 4:07PM
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ssfkat3(7/8 virginia)

hmmm, my weeds two years ago thought the roundup was fertilizer :D

onward with the battle of the weeds!!!

sally really WAS roundup I used too!!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Just pull them out now, while they're still young & tender.

They'll be easier to pull out of the cardboard mix than out of the previous unimproved soil.

Just keep at it diligently.

Weeds are persistent no matter what, but as the soil improves, it does get easier to remove them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 2:37PM
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I know this might not be an option...but it worked in some areas of our yard. My wife and I bought an 150 year old house that had been neglected for at least a decade. While we've been doing the renovation indoors, we have spent some time and money on our yard so that we are not looking at a construction zone when we finally finish up the house. Anyway...after tearing off an old aluminum roof from the house, and one from a shed we took down, I layed some of the metal sheets along the front edges of flower beds, as well as in empty spaces. After covering them with a thin layer of mulch, you don't see them...and no weeds! If you get a pair of tin snips, the sheets can be cut easily to any shape (wear gloves- I like the ones sold with fireplace accessories because they are thick and come up the the elbows). And, if you grade the ground a bit underneath them, the water will be directed in a desired direction (in our case- into some of our birch trees). If you don't have access to a few dozen sheets of aluminum roofing, you can buy the cheap corrugated stuff for next to nothing. Or you could ask around in rural areas. Most old houses like ours have piles of it around the property (for some reason, country folk in Virginia never threw away ANYTHING!).
Just an idea!
Cheers and Fairwinds,
Brett Silver

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:34PM
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buffburd(z5 NY)

Use layers of newspapers instead of cardboard for really tough weeds. The newspapers make a more solid layer against the sunlight, but your newly planted flowers can still grown through from above. Also be sure to cover with a thick layer of mulch, at least 4-6 inches on top of the newspaper.

I would rather put down an extra layer of newpapers than pour poison into my soil and essentially, my food and water supply.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 12:22PM
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have you considered that by adding "grass clippings" your actually adding weed seeds?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 1:35PM
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That was my thought too about the grass clippings adding weed seed. As with weed blocker, a plant will grow down through wet cardboard when it can't grow up through it. I'm thinking all that water is sure helping the weeds too.
I do the same thing with clippings though, but when I get weeds, I swirl the clippings around a bit and now the weed is on the bottom under the pile with no upward pointing shoot. You can't wait till there is 50 of them though, you have to stay on top of it.
I'm going to use that tin idea this fall over fresh manure.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:05PM
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When you add cardboard and grass clippings and bark,you have just started a compost pile of sort.Once it deteriorates you have supplied a nutritious feed and probably brought in weed seeds too.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:47AM
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Hi everyone, I'm a new member, as of today. I also want to clean up an area of weeds and was wondering what would happen if I were to cover the ground with a layer of high content Nitrogen fertilizer? I mean a deep layer of the stuff. Then add the newspaper/cardboard and a 6 inch layer of mulch. I know it would kill my grass in a heart beat as I've been there, done that. What would I get, a bed full of overgrown weeds or dead ones????

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:18PM
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You would get a toxic area you couldn't plant in for a few years, and the surrounding plants might also die.

The cardboard and mulch alone will do the trick.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 1:45PM
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I have found that roundup is NOT what it used to be. Environmentalists have taken everything that works away from us. I use roundup in the cracks of my driveway and around the edges of my mulchbed. It controls weeds for like a week!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:55PM
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i watched back to eden vedio about a fellow that uses cardboard wood chips and compost. on his garden, my wife and i just got through putting down the wet cardboard,with composted manure,going to put some top soil,and a layer of wood chips. the wood chips keep the weeds from just keeping using compost and wood chips. you can watch this veido on your computer. good luck

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:17PM
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capriow, so you think weeds are a bigger problem for the world than clean water and soil? I don't - I guess that makes me an "environmentalist".

1 Like    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:16AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed. Those driveway cracks could be spackled, or the whole thing repaved. Functional edges around your beds would eliminate the need for constantly maintaining those borders, especially in such an irresponsible way. Pulling weeds when they are small should be part of weekly garden maintenance that only takes a few minutes.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:05AM
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Boiling water works great for killing the weeds between the cracks. Of course really deep weeds might just be stunted by it, but weeds close to the surface die instantly. I just fill up a percolator/electric kettle with water, carrying a regular pan of water can be a little dangerous as the water can slosh and splash while you're carrying it.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:23PM
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