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breee    Posted 05-25-2003 at 15:25:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
flower beds line the fence. what do I put to discourage weeds from coming up? We have had termites in this area bad and everyone is doing everything they can to discourage them from being in this area. My house has already been treated. but want them to stay in the wooded area where they belong.
My choices are now cedar mulch or lava rock?
any advice?

Longmill    Posted 05-26-2003 at 04:40:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
What type of fence? Wire, split rail, wood planks, etc.?

If you can get under the fence, landscaping fabric can help. Unroll it along side the fence. Cut a slit and a circle, as needed to allow for the posts. Slide the fabric under the fence. Then, cover the fabric with your choice of materials. Pea gravel, river stones, or other gravels. Depending on what type of weeds you're fighting, builder's sand may be a good choice.

Personally, I wouldn't use lava rock. While it may work well, I wouldn't want this stone in/around my flower beds.

Another option, although it may be expensive, is to use landscape edging between the fence and your flower bed. Dig a trench as close to the fence as you can get. Install the edging. This will stop most weeds (that spread by runners) from creeping into your beds.

If you can cultivate on the other side of the fence, that's an option. Just keep a narrow strip along side the fence tilled. Once you establish this strip, it shouldn't take long to run a small tiller over it every couple of weeks, or so. Mantis or Honda cultivator is what I have in mind for this task.

If the fence is solid, is Roundup an option for the other side? Spray a strip about 6" wide along side the fence.

If available in your area, pine straw would work as a good mulch. We have lots of termite troubles in my area. However, I've never seen termites in pine straw. (I frequently use this, along with a layer of newspaper to mulch around tomatoes, in the garden.) Come to think of it, I haven't seen termites with shredded leaves, wheat straw mulch, etc. Can't speak about bark mulch, since I've never used it.

BTW, I still haven't figured out why people use that bright red mulch. For some reason, I've seen a lot of it this spring. Wondering what it will look like by the end of summer, after the sun works on that color for a while.


Fawteen    Posted 05-26-2003 at 05:57:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just for my general fund of knowledge, why would you avoid lava rocks in/near your flower bed?

Longmill    Posted 05-26-2003 at 15:54:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bad on the knees! My back can't handle a lot of bending, so I do quite a bit of work on my knees. Regular stones are bad enough, if I kneel on one.


Fawteen - AH!    Posted 05-26-2003 at 17:30:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good point! I'da figured that out about the time I knee-walked across a couple...

Randy    Posted 05-25-2003 at 17:47:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Jim, I don't know a thing about lava rock but we sure use lots of mulch. Cedar mulch would be my choice for a softer look also. Not sure if you have it where you are but don't use the bright red mulch. Can also put down Preen before you mulch, will help with weeds also.

Fawteen - Hey Randy    Posted 05-26-2003 at 03:28:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I used some Hemlock mulch, which has a defininte reddish cast to it. I assume you're talking about the stuff that appears to have been dyed? Other than the ugly factor, what's the problem with using it? Bad stuff leaching out of it?

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