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used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

Posted by dirtymartini 10 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 3, 11 at 13:21

what did we do wrong? I think we missed an important step somewhere along the way. :(

My DH did some landscaping "islands" in our yard and planted some trees. He put down black filter fabric, did edging around the "islands" and then put down firerock. Looked great until the weeds started popping up, and now there are tons of them! He was told to spray a lot of Round Up before putting the filter fabric down, but we are trying to NOT use chemicals. Well, I guess we should have done SOMETHING.

At first when we saw little weeds sprouting up, my DH would say to me, "Oh, those are just little weeds growing in the dirt that has accumulated in the rocks, on top of the filter fabric surface." BUT NO....there are big a$$ weeds that grow THROUGH the filter fabric.

So, tell me,Florida Garden Web Gurus...what could we have done to avoid this...for future reference! Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

I've decided to go ahead and use Round Up, but as in your situation with the tree, mine are close to things I don't want to kill. How close can you be to the plants to use it to kill the weeds?

RE: used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

I can certainly sympathize with you. The folks that built my house back in the 70's had gravel paths around the side yard and a huge gravel driveway. They put down landscape fabric under it all and to this day, I am continually taking my scissors out and cutting away the fabric as it appears everywhere. And so do the weeds! So I don't think it is a helpful product.
I learned here on GW to put cardboard down before I plant. Not only don't the weeks grow through it (although at some point as it deteriorates, they will), it is the start of the famous "lasagna gardening". So you might want to try that the next time you make a bed. I plan on replacing the cardboard when the time comes. In my paths, I'm stuck for the time being, so I just pull the weeks and use a little roundup.

In the meantime, if you don't like chemicals, try vinegar - it works sometimes.
Hope this helps,

RE: used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

Round Up or any grass and weed killer won't hurt existing plants if you don't get over spray on them. It is absorbed through the foliage not the root system.

There is no way to totally avoid weeds. The majority of the seeds come from above through wind, rain, birds etc and then the roots go down through the weed fabric. I NEVER recommend weed fabric. It is a waste of money. In the future you can put Preen on the rocks to help prevent weeds seeds from germinating.

RE: used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

Here's what I do and it last at least a year or two. Get the weeds out, then put down newspaper or coragated card board. Then put at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch on top. If you all ready have plants there just put the newspaper around the plant and then mulch. When you mow, make sure you don't throw the seeds into the bed, mow away from the bed.


thanks so much, I am going to show this thread to my DH. Lots of valuable info here. I really appreciate it!

RE: used filter fabric, then firerock, now tons of weeds?

That mowing technique really hit me! Like a real "DUH!" moment! LOL
In my front flower bed I have weeds/things growing that are nowhere else in my yard. I had added some cheap garden dirt that I got from one of our stores, WM or BL, and am certain those little buggers came in it!
I'm glad to hear the neg about the weedstop cloth, I have never liked it personally and now have scientific evidence to back it up! :D

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