Weed Blockers, mulch film?

Fifthelement111(5)June 1, 2013

Hello everyone,
I have a flower bed that runs along the side of my home and for some reason this season I am getting a strange amount of grass and weeds coming up through my mulch. I am concerned as it is completely distracting from my perennials and although someone suggested mulch film or a plastic barrier, I have read that for perennials it will only do harm. My question is: how the heck do you get rid of the ugly weeds and grass popping up?

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There is some evidence that the landscape fabrics or weed blockers are as detrimental to soils as plastic is and I have found they do not really do much to keep grasses out of planting beds.
Grasses can invade planting beds by sending roots in or by producing seeds, but most of the time what I see is roots moving into the nice soil with lots of nutrients. The single best method of control for the grasses is to edge the planting bed and, carefully, dig out the grasses from that planting bed starting at the outside edge.
The plants that you do not want growing there, the "weeds", can be plucked out.

i have found they

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 7:39AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Agreed. Pull the unwanted plants out as soon as you see one pop up. When you mow, aim the chute away from the bed(s.)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 7:49AM
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If you live in Cincinnati, you are no longer zone 5. It's considered zone 6 now. I'm across the river in NKY and had the same problem.

I put down landscape fabric on mine the first year because there was no way I was digging out that grass. It helped a lot but didn't work as well as I'd hoped and by the next Summer I was dividing and moving things so it got ripped out in the process. Not aware of any soil issues caused the year it was down.

I will do anything in my power to prevent having to weed. I would put the fabric down, mulch over it and just deal with what comes through this year. Next year pull it out early-mid April and put down Preen. I'm so happy with Preen I could do a commercial for them. Other than the occasional dandelion or thistle right next to the foundation - I never see weeds or grass in that bed anymore.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

One could smother weeds and/or grass with newspaper or cardboard, which will decompose, so does not need to be removed. Covered with mulch, which helps hold it in place and helps it contour to the soil surface, makes an effective barrier to gain control, then makes it easy to maintain since almost all unwanted sprouts will be in the loose stuff on top. Replace mulch approximately annually as it decomposes. This can be done around existing shrubs or perennials for large, stubborn patches.

Starting a new bed this way is called lasagna since "layers" of organic matter can also be added under, or used instead of the mulch. Once completed, it's most successful if one waits a few months but preferably until the next year to install plants.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:33AM
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