Monday, January 13, 2014

WEED BLOCK BETWEEN RAISED BEDS PART ONE

Weed block fabric rolls
So this weekend, I had several things planned.  Well, first I spent too long in Home Depot on Saturday (but I did get a bunch of stuff).  Then on Sunday when I went to the farm again, I didn't realize how much rain we had received out there.  Probably 2 or 3 inches!  Water was standing EVERYWHERE.  So that limited my plans.  I decided to focus on the garden area.  With our hard freeze over several nights, the grass has been made dormant.  So I bought weed block fabric, and I opted for the higher end stuff, commercial grade.

Putting down the newspaper and weed block
I put it down in the small sections until I found a rhythm.  It's really not too hard, except for the fact that it was also WINDY.  Sigh.  

Rolling out the weed block fabric
What I did first, but realize now that I didn't get a photo of, was put down some newspaper and cardboard, that's why they are puffed up a bit.  Next, I rolled the fabric out over the top of that and then cut it as I went along.  I found it easier to work in the sections between beds.

Weed block cloth around raised beds
Then I used a box of those landscaping staples that you just press down into the ground.  I made sure to overlap the sections.  Once I got into a routine, it was pretty easy, until I ran out of the staples.  D'oh!

Fortunately, I was able to get the two front sections done, this side and the one opposite it.  I need to get the remaining beds built so that I can put them down and then finish out the newspaper/fabric.  Lastly, we have a load of mulch ready to be delivered when things are finished.

Rubber tree ring
I also bought one of these to try out around our fruit trees.  I have trouble with the weeds growing up around them and then trying to mow around them carefully.  We've seen them for years and thought we'd see how they work.  I bought one at Home Depot, they sell them HERE AT AMAZON.  They are reversible, one side dark brown, the other reddish brown.  We were slightly concerned about their safety, but I've found numerous independent studies that show they are safe.  The post consumer process removes 99.9% of all metal and chemicals from the tires making them approved for use around gardens.  I only bought one because we want to see how it works and what we think.

Garden tools on porch
Lastly, I bought some new garden tools, still need more, but it's a start.
Need to have at least two of everything, you know, so 2nd Man can help.  :-)

I have another project I'm working on in the garden, but it's not ready for its unveiling yet.  We figure that at least if we are getting all the parts and pieces of the garden out there, that's less to do later.  That way, we won't have to spend time at the stores looking for stuff, we can just get started building/working. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

That looks good. You will want to put a mulch layer over the weed cloth if you can. It will keep the fabric from breaking down as quickly. I used shredded newspaper and grass clippings for that purpose. Good luck with all of it!

Anonymous said...

was there a reason to put newspaper and cardboard under the fabric? Just wondering if that serves some benefit?

wendywoo said...

JEALOUS! Love the fabric in between raised beds, I am SO doing this. Our garden goes to garbage every year because of three foot tall grasses growing there. I always plan to put down garden Preen and somehow never do. I am in on this! Can't wait to see how yours turns out, will look great with mulch on it! Thanks!

Joani said...

Looks awesome. One could also use carpet. You could also buy used tools at yard/garage sales instead of brand new ones. Just a thought. Can't wait to see the reveal. Have a great week.

1st Man said...

Oh, yep, we're definitely filling it all in with mulch. Already have an order ready for when I get finished with all this. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

It helps kill the grass. This weed block cloth lets water through so it will still let water get to the roots of the grass but will take longer to kill it. The cardboard and newspaper smothers the grass completely. I don't know that's totally required, but I've done that before and it helped.

1st Man said...

It wasn't too hard. I sort of had that problem last summer, the grass just got so out of hand, I couldn't get the mower in there easier and it was just a mess. This weed fabric is better than the plastic because water can pass through. It's more expensive, these rolls were 4 feet wide, which worked perfect for between the beds (three feet between so this gives me a bit extra), and 100 feet long. They were $30 a roll.

The mulch will make it look so clean and pretty, I can't wait!

1st Man said...

I"ve heard of the carpet thing. I almost did that but for now this was easier because I could get the rolls in the car, ha. Oh and I should have said on the tools, I used some Christmas gift cards. I always like to buy something nice and new with gift cards that I'll think of when I use it. Like I wouldn't want to use them to buy wood or the rolls of weed cloth but the tools will last a long time. hopefully anyway, ha.

Practical Parsimony said...

I read that in wet places, the cardboard and paper will mildew under the cloth. However, I don't know.

One of those rings for a tree was on my radar. If it is safe, what is that horrendous outgassing I smell? The odor caused me not to buy the tree circles. I really, really want a few of those. By the way, the grass can still grow up by the trunk, so it has to be weeded by hand or with weedeater.

Those are good-looking tools. Most of my tools are very old and bought new by me or yard sale tools. None match.

I cannot wait to see all this finished.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

The garden area is looking really good. It sounds like your already to go with this springs gardening. Have you focused on ordering seeds?

The Singing Gardener said...

Perfect!

1st Man said...

Yes, I have a lot from the year of the seed sod th month club but I did order some as well. I'm still planning some of the beds (not going to plant all of them this first season) so even though I want to grow everything, I'll have to cut back a bit, ha.

1st Man said...

Well thank you very much!!!

1st Man said...

Hmm, thanks for the tip. Weird that the one I picked up had virtually no smell. I will continue to monitor it, and see how things go. It will be an experiment to share with all. :-)

I will keep an eye on the cardboard, I figured it would just decompose away. Will definitely check on that. Thanks!

I took advantage of the gift cards to get new tools, ha.

Anonymous said...

If you use a really thick layer of cardboard and newspaper it does more than help kill the grass. As it breaks down it provides a layer of soil that has few/no weed seeds in it. So anything growing will typically be going from the top down which limits root growth and makes it easier to pull.

I have good sources for paper and tend to lay down full sections, still folded, rather than just a few sheets. I've found that it breaks down completely within two years but still provides a good barrier do to the lack of seeds. (I typically need a hammer to get the stakes through the paper.) My family used to complain about how thick I laid it down but that stopped when I did a few of their garden beds and their need for weed killer reduced drastically. And even now, years later, the weeds are drastically reduced and tend to only be at the edges.

I've also found that the thick layers of newspaper also help keep the soil moist. When it gets hot the paper layers tend to dry out but they help hold the moisture in the soil. This helps the plants a lot, even if it's just in walkways. In decorative gardens it can be a real boon. My Dad's garden plants exploded in size within the first year because of this. Now they are so big that they are overflowing the spaces they are in.