Permanent weed solution: Poly Ground cover Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Care/Landscaping' started by Mike50, May 8, 2009.

  1. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have a landscaping issue and could use some tips. I live in the high desert of california. I have a horseshoe shaped driveway with a semi circle of gray sandy dirt terrain in front of the house. I'm having multiple tons of decorative sand delivered to cover this area. I would like to eliminate any future weed issues permanently. So does anyone have experience with laying down landscaping grade poly-measuring and staking it down? thanks...Mike
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I tried it years ago, I've seen it done in many places and while I can't say it never works, but I know mine didn't and many that I have seen end up full of weeds. For me, chemical control works best. I keep my rose bed weed free using Caseron (I think Preen would also work well) These do not kill weeds but prevent weeds from coming through the soil. The do not harm shrubs, trees, or other plants as long as the surface of the ground is not disturbed. I usually apply it once a year at the most. If I break the surface, I might get a lone weed or two, but they are easily pulled. On other areas that I want to keep bare, I find about 3 applications of Round-Up to work well. Round-Up only kills growing plants, that why the repeat applications are required. I've seen ads on a new Round-Up that is supposed to prevent weeds from coming up, but I have not read up on it as of yet. Besides, I have a pretty good supply of the other on hand. Caseron is just broadcast by hand. Round-Up is sprayed with a hand sprayer. Once you have the weeds under control..as much as weeds are ever under control.. it's not difficult to keep the areas clean.
  3. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks Gary. I may just try all these methods and hope for the best. If you know how the poly is secured to the ground--let me know....
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    What limited experience I have is that usually it is bark or river rock.
  5. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I should probably just nuke the area with Roundup as you suggested. If the Poly doesn't work out--it would be a real fiasco to remove it from underneath TONS & TONS of sand. Luckily for me I only live 10 miles from the biggest supplier/quarry in the Southwest.
  6. ajpa

    ajpa New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I saw biodegradable weed paper at the store recently, haven't used it myself, but that way you wouldn't worry about digging it up again. I know some people who like using cardboard (like from boxes), you lay it down then wet it before adding the either planting / top soil(if your planting) or mulch, or both. Since you can usually get free boxes from a bunch of places it's a cheap easy weed barrier. I wonder too with the poly in your heat if it would break to pieces quickly.

    I haven't seen sand as a mulch -- is it common there? Usually if there are kids sandboxes there's always a problem with critters using it as a litter box.
    The nearest similar mulch here in the northeast would be pebbles.
  7. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I'm going to nuke the ground with weed killer and hope for the best. I live in the southern california desert near Palm Springs and it's all sand here mate. Many weeds simply die from the extreme heat in summer when temps are routinely in the triple digits. Usually 100-112+
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    One thing about the poly and all the other liners. After a while, just dust landing on this covering is enough for some weeds to get started, then pretty soon they are all living on top of the poly.

    The guy I bought my house from used the cheese cloth look alike stuff (I can't remember it's name) then put rocks all over it. Now the weeds grow on top and the chickens from next door scratch the rocks all over the yard.

    I think I would rather deal with the weeds.

    bob...
  9. ajpa

    ajpa New Member

    Messages:
    12
    The trick is to assume a slightly superior look and call it "native flaura".:D
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    So that's what it's called. I always thought of it as just more weeds.

    bob...
  11. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Your point reminded me of why I cannot use Poly. We all use hula-hoe to eradicate weeds. The Poly will impede that because it cant "bite" into the soil. It would be a mess in fact. Too bad we can't use those whirling weed whackers...but as I said it's all sand here.
  12. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You can use a weed whacker, but you had better be wearing some protective gear. They sure can fling things around.
  13. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    It's pointless because only the hula hoe will remove the root. I'm talking about an acre BTW...this isn't a suburban rose garden mate. lol
  14. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    If you remove the root, more will come. That's why their called weeds I think. I have 180 foot of 4' deep 8' wide ditch to do in front of my house. If I removed the roots, the erosion would be terrible. So I have to use a weed whip. I hate doing it, but nobody has volunteered to do it for me so far.
  15. Blumengarten

    Blumengarten New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    A decade ago, my mother had her place "professionally" landscaped, they put black plastic all over the place to keep down weeds, then put mulch on top. It looked good, for a couple months, but every weed seed that landed on top of the mulch grew. The black plastic only prevents weeds that are already there from coming through.

    Because my mom wasn't a diligent weeder, the place was soon just as infested with weeds as before the plastic was laid down, but the problem was worse, because the roots grew through the plastic and into the ground underneath, anchoring it there.

    In some places, the plastic was that "mesh" with tiny holes in it, and other places it was solid. If you aren't diligent about removing every weed that sprouts, you will have this problem, then you also have the problem of being unable to remove the plastic when you want to change the landscaping.

    Corrugated cardboard (especially refrigerator boxes) is an excellent weed barrier, but you can use newspapers too, laying it very thick (at least ten layers, overlapping the edges).

    For weed prevention, use "corn gluten meal" which prevents weed seeds from germinating. You can get it at nurseries (Preen is one, but there are two types of Preen, read the label for the one that is made with corn gluten meal) but you can get it cheaper at feed stores like Agway. Apply the corm gluten meal in early spring and every few weeks throughout the growing season.
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    By any chance are you related to the Floral Blumengarten's?
    If you are, you got wonderful flowers and plants, and I have dealt with your business for years. :)
  17. Blumengarten

    Blumengarten New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    No, I just picked that screen name because there's a florist in my hometown named "Jim Ludwig's Blumengarten" and I thought that was a real cool name!
  18. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You should use the fabric type ground cover, so that any rain water permeates through, rather than puddling. It will keep weeds from under, but inevitably weed seed blow into the top cover...whether it be sand, bark, etc. So periodic applications of roundup may be unavoidable. They have versions of roundup type products now which are advertised has having season-long residual effect.
  19. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have found a solution. This company specializes in a landscaping sand called "Palm Springs Gold" It is a specialty blend of many tiny rocks mixed with sand. And it has just enough clay to help with this problem. When you water the sand it forms a substantial hard crust. However if you walk on it--it breaks up once again. I think I'll have a big old boulder delivered as well.
    http://www.whitewater-rock.com/
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  20. dgold

    dgold Product R&D for a powertool manufacturer

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Not a believer in any kind of "weed barrier". Seems too good to be true. I have a 1-gallon pump sprayer and I keep it full w/ round-up. Love the stuff. Easy to apply, and works as advertised.

    Too late now, but the smartest thing I've learned to do is use the broadcast spreader with a winterizer / weed-n-feed product in late Fall. I'm definitely seeing fewer weeds so far this year than last year.
Similar Threads: Permanent weed
Forum Title Date
Lawn Care/Landscaping the weed eater wont start !!!! Jul 6, 2013
Lawn Care/Landscaping Weed control Jul 24, 2009
Lawn Care/Landscaping Controlling Tea Weed (Prickly Sida) May 25, 2009

Share This Page