Rehabing an old lavarock and plastic sheeting landscaping nightma

suestithJuly 6, 2014

I have an old landscaping bed in front of the house I'm trying to rehab. I has black plastic sheeting, lava rock, and years of dirt and maple leaf accumulation. What is the best way to re-do a mess like this? There some ewe bushes which I want to keep for now and some stickery bushess I plan to eliminate. But this Fall i will be clearing parts of it and put in spring bulbs. Thanks for any feed back!

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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Get rid of the plastic! It didn't work, did it? Neither does the lava rock unless you are in the desert.
What part of the country do you live in and could you post a picture of the area you are redoing?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:33AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

been there.. done that ...

i do not have a lot of money.. but i would find some.. and pay someone else to get rid of it... lol ...

otherwise its a lot of heavy hard work ... you just have to start.. and dont give up.. until its done ...


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:03AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

As a landscaper I did a lot of yard makeovers. Plastic sheeting covered with mulch or rocks was usually the worst part of the job. One place I did had three layers of plastic with ground up bark over each layer. It didn't work the first time so they did it twice more. lol
You have to peel a bit of the plastic back a little at a time and shovel the rocks or mulch as you go. A square shovel or fork will catch on the plastic so don't use those. Even a round construction shovel will catch on the plastic if you're not careful. Use a rake in conjunction with a shovel. Flip the rake over so the teeth don't catch on the plastic.
Sheet plastic and 'Landscape cloth' are the two worst things you can use in garden construction. A temporary fix at best. People used to ask me why I didn't use plastic. "I see it used almost everywhere", they would say. I'd tell them that's another thing bad about plastic, you can't completely hide it for more than an hour or two. It looks cheap.
Like ken says, it's a lot of heavy hard work. It's harder getting rid of it than installing it. Get some teenage boys to do it. Or pay a landscaper three times as much to do it.
Mike...retired landscaper.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:39PM
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