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biradarcm

Remedy for Garden Paths/Ways

biradarcm
12 years ago

I guess you might have already noticed a mistake I did last time while setting up of new raised beds. Indeed, I read somewhere Carol was warmed not to leave any Bermuda around the garden beds. But did not realize why she was pressing on that until late fall. I assumed that inserting lumber 4-6 in deep will restrict the Bermuda, but i was wrong. As you see picture below, I retained lawn-mover width of Bermuda turf between each beds as a walking path. It looks great no doubt, beds with green turf around looks awesome but problem is Bermuda started invading the raised beds passing beneath the wooden structure and poking in the beds. I not wanted to use grass killer in the vegetable beds, so tried my best remove it by hand. I am sure it will invade again as it did last time.

I am looking for permanent solution to get rid of Bermuda around the vegetable beds OR stop them invading garden beds. I love keep garden nice and god looking. Here are few questions which need your advice;

Option1: Use Grass Killer to kill all turf around the beds during the growing season.

Question: is this good solution? what about soil when grass gone? Should I use another grass type to replace Bermuda? Please note we frequently walk in this area (garden paths).

Option2: remove the turf by option1 or using sod cuter and then fill space with gravel or mulch.

Question: is this good solution and cost effective as it need tons of gravels. Garden has some slope, I afraid gravels and mulch move lower area over the time?

Option3: after removing turf, use old carpets to lay on the paths?

Question: is this good idea?

Here are pictures of the garden beds taken in spring 2011:


Satellite picture taken in the Fall (October 31, 2011) shows our garden;

regards -Chandra

Comments (25)

  • helenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your garden is beautiful. I don't have a solution to your problem, but I don't think a sod cutter would remove Bermuda. At my parents farm Bermuda sent long runners through a pile of wood chips that was a couple of feet thick. If you can ever kill the Bermuda, wood chips look nice and inhibit most weeds.

  • slowpoke_gardener
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chandra, I had raised bed about 17 years ago and fighting Bermuda without chemicals is one reason I don't have raised beds anymore. I am thinking I will put in a raised on the east side of my lawn, but I will use grass killer around it. The east side is the back side of my lawn so the dead grass around the bed wont be as noticeable.

    Larry

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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chandra,

    Because I have heavy, dense clay that drains slowly, raised beds are a must or my plants drown during wet periods and I love them, but they're harder to keep weed-free than a grade level garden with rows because the grass stolons creep under the boards and grow there. When I find bermuda popping up in a bed or pathway, I dig it out and that includes lifting the nearby boards so I can dig out any stolons running under those boards. If you have a grade-level garden with no boards or rocks holding the soil up into raised beds, you can dig out the grass a lot more easily. The key is to dig out every bit of bermuda you find as soon as you find it. Digging is preferable to pulling it out because when you pull it, you just leave some of the plant underground and it regrows within days to weeks.

    Honestly, I don't think it matters which option you choose to combat bermuda grass. Each can be effective in its own way, but with each one, there are different challenges. The key to fighting bermuda successfully is to be very persistent and to go after it aggressively whenever it pops up in your garden, and the sooner the better. It is easy to remove bermuda by digging it out when you first notice it, and much harder if you want a month or two or three to tackle it.

    The only permanent solution with bermuda grass is to pack up and move to a colder climate where the bermuda grass cannot survive the winters.

    Option 1 may work on the grass it touches, but if you have grass creeping under the boards, it may not kill the grass under the boards. A grass killer will be safer for your garden than a nonselective herbicide because it will not kill broadleaf garden plants. I prefer to garden as organically as possible, but I've yet to find an organic herbicide that is cost-effective and that really works well on bermuda grass. I certainly wouldn't blame you if you chose to go the grasskiller route, but be sure you read the label carefully to ensure the product you use is approved for use around edible plants.

    Option 2 would have been more effective had you used it in the beginning before the beds were built. For it to be most effective now, you need to lift the boards when using the sodcutter and make sure any grass growing under the beds is cut and removed. A sod cutter is good only down to the depth you cut, and keep in mind that bermuda grass roots can go down as deeply as 50'. Still, with a sodcutter set deeply enough, you'll get a majority of the stuff out. I'd consider a sod cutter a good start, but then you still need to put down a barrier. If you put down mulch, which can wash out, or gravel which will possibly wash out in periods of especially heavy rainfall, be sure and put a woven landscape fabric underneath it. For extra measure, I'd put down cardboard underneath the landscape fabric and 4 to 6" of mulch on top of it. If you use smaller, finer mulch, it tends to pack down better than larger chunks of mulch and doesn't wash out as easily. Gravel will be a problem if it escapes the pathways and gets out into the lawn, and children love to pick up that gravel and toss it around.

    Option 3 may or may not work. As an organic gardener I wouldn't do it because I don't want chemicals used in the carpets to wash into my soil. If you had wool or cotton rugs, they'd be safer but they'd degrade over time. With carpet, a lot depends on the kind of backing it has. I've seen some people put down carpet, only to have the bermuda grass grow up through the carpet and that turned into a big mess.

    In our garden, we put down cardboard first, and 2 or 3 layers of heavy cardboard work better than a single layer, then a heavy-duty woven (not the perforated type because grass and weeds grow through the perforations) cloth landscape mulch, and pile heavy, thick layers of mulch on top of it. This keeps some weeds out of the path, but you do have to quickly pull or dig (whatever it takes) everything that sprouts in the pathway or creeps into it. Sometimes at our place the bermuda grows under the garden fence from the adjacent lawn area and sneaks through a bed, hiding under something like big squash plants, and then I don't see it until it hits the pathway. Once I see it, I quickly dig it out before it can grow down and become entangled in the landscape fabric.

    Other options for pathways would be to put in permanent PaveStone type pathways, with the interlocking stone laid on a well-prepared bed of gravel and compacted sand. It is a more expensive solution, but a well-laid and properly installed pathway of interlocking pavers should keep out the bermuda grass as well as pouring concrete in the pathways would. I wouldn't use paving as an option unless I was 100% happy with the layout of the garden beds and intended to never change them. Also, paving is a great option if you are committed to that particular house long-term, but probably not cost effective if you intend to stay there only a few years.

    Whichever method you use, the key thing to remember is that the bermuda is trying to grow back and infiltrate your garden 24/7 but you cannot be out there fighting it 24/7. The next best thing is to watch for it in your beds constantly and then, when you see it, either paint a weedkiller onto that grass immediately, or dig it out right away. Don't put the bermuda into your compost pile. Bag it and toss it into the trash can.

    This spring I'll be planting my 14th garden here and I still am fighting bermuda. It is not nearly as bad in the older, interior areas of the garden where I've been pretty successful in removing it over the years, but it is always an issue around the fenceline areas where it crawls into the garden underground and then pops up 6 or 8 or 10' away from the fence. Then I have to dig it out, working my way back towards the fence until I've dug up every bit of it.

    If you leave even 1/4" long pieces of Bermuda grass stolon scattered around in the ground in your garden, the bermuda grass can take over your whole garden in a matter of only a few weeks in a typical summer with adequate rainfall. That's why it is important to do everything you can to keep it out of your garden, and then to attack it aggressively the minute you see it in the garden. Remember, too, that if any place around you has common bermuda and that common bermuda sets seed, you'll have the seed possibly blowing into your garden, or being carried there by rain runoff and that's another way the bermuda spreads itself around.

    In Texas, I could keep the bermuda grass out of our St. Augustine yard by mowing the St. Augustine slightly higher than recommended. That allowed the St. Augustine to shade out the bermuda and win the grass war. I've always wanted to put St. Augustine in my pathways to see if it would shade out the bermuda in the paths, but because we have lots of venomous snakes here, I don't want a grass pathway in my garden. Or, rather, I want one, but my fear of the venomous snakes keeps me from putting grass pathways in. You might try something else in your pathways like chamomile or clover, but I don't know if they would outcompete the bermuda.

    Good luck with bermuda grass. I always say bermuda grass is evil. Some people I know refer to it as devil grass.


    Dawn

  • soonergrandmom
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Clover brings in the bees so be prepared for that. It is nice to have bees on your flowers and plants, but in clover on the ground it can be a little dangerous. In the Spring, a lot of clover comes up in my yard and the bees cover it. They will stay on that flower although your foot is very close. I always let the lawn wait for mowing just to give the bees a food source, but I'm not sure I would like them in my garden pathways. Maybe someone who has clover in their garden will share their experiences with it. I do like clover tho.

  • joellenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I line all of my paths with cardboard. The more the better, sometimes I use 2-3 layers. Then on top of that, mulch with straw or pea gravel for looks and an even walking surface. The cardboard smothers the weeds and keeps them from invading your beds.

    Last year I spent VERY little time weeding. Hours and hours watering, but weeding was a cinch.

    Jo

  • ezzirah011
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here is what I did on my path ways, it's ugly, but it works. I mowed the area until it was scalped. Then I put down black plastic. It has been there for a year now, this year if I can I am going to lift it up, take out the dead grass, put fresh down. The idea is to poke holes in it for drainage, then cover with gravel as time and money permits. I still get weeds that come up around the beds, but it very easily pulls out.

    Hope it helps!

  • Lisa_H OK
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I would not use stone or gravel in your paths, the weeds grow up through it anyway, and if you ever change your mind, then you have rocks all through your soil.

    I use biodegradable materials (mulch, sunflower seed hulls, cut grass), in my paths. The deeper, the better. It's not perfect, but it does help. The cardboard underneath helps a lot, but I don't do that very often. Normally I just build on top of the previous year's materials. I would definitely use cardboard the first and maybe second year.

    Re, the sunflower seed hulls, I have friends who work with Meals on Wheels. One of the clients feeds her squirrels striped sunflower seeds on her porch, (I think). Anyway, she sweeps up all the hulls and they make their way to my garden paths, one Walmart bag at a time! :)

  • helenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use cardboard from Sam's - big pieces. I cover it with leaves but it is slick to walk on sometimes. Cardboard doesn't last long and has to be replaced. I like the big brown flat pieces they use between detergent jugs and other products.

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Dawn thanks for all those tips, options and warnings. I not thought about kids, I am sure they will through gravels all over garden, make lawn moving a risky task. Pavement sounds great,I am agree with you, we are not sure how long we stay at this home. Indeed one of my realtor-friend warned me not remove too much of turf for gardening, it will be hard to sell property as many buyers won't like gardening. I will keep exploring few more options for paths. Please let me know if you come across any cost effective-organic grass killer. -Chandra

  • Nancy Fryhover
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chandra,
    I know you must hate using chemicals as I do...but...I resorted to using Roundup to kill out bermuda. I think you should go ahead and use roundup on the paths when the grass becomes green, and then use old carpet strips as path. No doubt some will still survive, in spots, and you will have to spot spray with Roundup. That's what has worked for me.

    If I were to start another garden spot fresh on bermuda, I would lay on newspaper, cardboard, mulch and leaves as much as I could layer on. Then leave it for 1 or 2 gardening seasons. That takes some patience, but that's what I would do for a new spot.

    I sure have a love/hate relationship with Roundup and just hate for Devilweed, but I let the two dual it out and may they both go to H**L together! Lol! Then I just have to believe the Roundup residues just go away, at least that is the claim. But I only use it when ABSOLUTELY needed. Its my 3rd year and I think I have the garden DEVILWEED whipped..ha,ha,ha,ha....ha...thats an evil laugh

  • seedmama
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just hate myself when I recommend chemicals, however.... I too used glyphosate (Round up) from time to time on Bermuda when that's all I knew would work. Of course even with glyphosate, there's no getting out of a huge bottle of elbow grease for Bermuda. Dawn's warnings about 1/4" pieces of stolon are very valid.

    The year I was pregnant, and the year after, Bermuda made great headway into my front ornamental beds. Sensing I was overwhelmed at reclaiming my space, my helpful neighbor recommended Ornamec, which he had used with success in his flower beds up next to the house. It is a product marketed to the small home ornamental gardener, and the price reflects it. There was no way I was going to pay for multiple pints of the stuff to accomplish what I needed in my 11,000 square feet of ornamental beds!

    I turned to our good friend Jeff Campbell at Winfield Solutions (Estes) He set me up with something called Clethodim herbicide. Large scale farmers use it to kill grass in food crops. Disclaimer: I'm not telling you it's safe; you must evaluate that for yourself. However it can be used in and near most vegetable crops, per labeling. When I feel that chemicals are the right answer, I somehow feel better about using only as much killing strength as I need (narrow spectrum) than I do about using a broad spectrum 9kills everything) product like glyphosate.

    Because Clethodim is labelled and marketed to the large scale farmer, and not the small home gardener, it comes in gallons, and a gallon of anything is not cheap. In addition, you must purchase a surfactant. Consider going in halvsies with a friend. Sadly, the only cost-effective organic grass killer I know is a spade on my hands and knees.

    If I were in your shoes I would use a combined strategy of killing with Clethodim, and digging out by hand, coupled by very deep barriers around the area to be Bermuda free. Once the Bermuda is where is it supposed to be, use Clethodim as an edger. Remove all the Bermuda you want. You realtor has a point, but why live in the future of what ifs? When you get ready to sell, you can include an installed sod allowance in your seller's contract.

    Seedmama

  • ezzirah011
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    For those that use cardboard, how do you keep the cardboard from flying away with a good strong wind?

  • cjlambert
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We've been successful in keeping bermuda out of beds by digging a trench between the lawn and the bed. It's only about 6" inches deep and wide, and does need constant surveillance during the growing season, but it's easy to spot, and remove, the stolons and stems that creep toward the bed before they get there. Of course, you do have to do the initial removal of the grass in the trench, but once that's done, it's fairly easy to maintain.

    I agree that edibles in enclosed raised beds are more difficult to keep grass-free than beds that are not enclosed.

    Good luck! It'll take some work, but you can get there.

    Carolj

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Before I put cardboard on the ground, I have mulch right there in the wheelbarrow. I put down the cardboard, put the mulch right on top of it. You generally cannot put down the cardboard one day and then wait and put the mulch on it later, because the wind will carry away that cardboard in no time at all.

  • slowpoke_gardener
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ezzirah, I just started using newspapers 2 years ago and love them, I am saving cardboard now to use this year as well as newspapers. The newspaper I put down wet and place shredded leaves over them, if the wind is really strong I will also place a rock on the news paper to hold it till I can get the mulch placed, then remove the rocks. I expect to do the cardboard the same way. I have not started using paper in the vegetable garden yet. I hope to have a no-till garden some day, at that time I hope to use a lot of paper.

    Larry

  • helenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If I were buying a home your raised beds would be a selling point. Paving might not be a good idea if you are planning to sell because that is harder to change to suit your needs.

  • joellenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I put landscape (retaining wall) stones around the perimeter of my garden (not around every path). They keep the mulch (whether it is gravel or straw) in my garden and out of my yard. However, I would not DREAM of mulching over bare dirt or landscape fabric. I am in love with cardboard.

    Jo

  • soonergrandmom
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have always tilled, but this year I am going to try a garden without tilling. However, it has taken me several years to get to this point and I still don't know if my ground is ready for this, but it has been covered with leaves all winter. I don't mean a few, and although it has packed down some, they went on at least 6-8 inches thick. Some were mulched very fine and some not so much. I also plan to add compost to the surface.

    I had some areas near the fence that had lots of roots and not very good soil. I grew cherry tomatoes there this year and had cardboard mulch around them. I put bricks on the cardboard as I was placing it, then put on tomato cages and anchored them down. I ran out of mulch before I got some of the cardboard covered and since my neighbors would have to be standing at the fence to see it, I didn't worry too much about it. Once the cardboard got wet it stayed on the ground and wasn't slick, but it still lasted through the season and stopped the weeds and grass from coming through.

    The year before, I used cardboard with hay over it and all of my squash got vine borers. It worked fine for the tomatoes and peppers, but not the squash, so I know I can't do that again. Of course, I live in a wet climate unlike many of you. I think last year by the first of June I had already gotten about 26 inches of rain. If it looks like that is going to happen this year, then I will be setting out a lot more transplants rather than planting seeds. Some years I get things planted later than I would like because it is hard to find time to till and plant because the ground is too wet. Not having to till should help with that.

    I noticed with my broccoli last year, the size of the heads was directly proportional to the amount of sunlight it got. I planted it in a new place and it got sun from noon until sunset, but one end got a little more. In the Summer that would have been lots of sun, but in the Spring it wasn't enough. The end of the bed that got sunshine first did much better.

    Cardboard is almost a miracle for the garden. It not only works as mulch to hold moisture, it suppresses weeds and more importantly shades out grass, and the worms love it. It must create perfect conditions for them. On the other hand, it is ugly and needs to be covered.

    I hate to use dangerous chemicals in the garden and most years I don't even think about them. Last year my DH burned out a few things with a torch, but if I didn't have such a wet spring, I might not feel that was safe to do. We have been trying to remove some growth from the chain link fence and that just seemed to be something else to try. I try to be very careful what I use in the garden, but as I was enlarging the garden, I did use Round-up to kill the grass. Then after I planted in it I used cardboard.

    I have grown Spring crops with and without mulch and I am just as happy without it. I plant them pretty close and they shade the ground around them. I usually start mulching when the tomatoes and peppers go into the ground. I have to do it when I plant them because very soon they are so crowded that I can barely walk through to harvest and I wouldn't have room to mulch then.

    I have bought several types of landscape fabric and none were worth bring home. LOL I guess there are some good ones out there, but I never find them. I eventual use the mistakes tho, because I usually just stretch some out on top of the grass and put the containers on top of it to keep the grass from coming up through the holes. Most years (not last year) I have about 20 containers in my side yard which is one of the few places I have full sun. That is my garden overflow.

    I have a walkway through my garden which is made of brick size concrete pavers. It took some time to put down but can be moved if I need to move it. After I fell on my face one winter, I decided it was necessary. The ground had been frozen and the sun came out and thawed about the top half inch. I darted around the end of a cattle panel and went down, and I had mud from my forehead to my toes. That Spring I built a walkway.

    Chandra, I think your garden is lovely, and you had more weather issues than any of us last year and you still had a harvest. I would not want to fight the grass and in your case, I think I would use a chemical to kill the grass. Then I would try to find the 'good' landscape fabric like Dawn uses and put it between the paths. I would then order a load of sand and put on top of it. That would be a lot better for the kids to be on than gravel. You wouldn't have to worry about getting rocks in your lawn and if you ever had to sell your home, you could just spread it out if your buyer wanted turf again instead of garden beds.....and the rest of us could be there to steal the beds. LOL

  • joellenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here is a picture of my garden last year illustrating how I edge the perimeter to keep the mulch in. So far none has escaped.

    {{gwi:1078896}}

    Jo

  • ezzirah011
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I remember when you built that fence Jo, it is just cute!

    I am thinking about how to edge the stuff and keep it all in, I am thinking of just going with some plain ole' garden edging that comes in a roll.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carol,

    I buy the weedblock fabric I use on a large roll (it is either 200 feet long or 300 feet long) at CostCo. The next time I buy one, I'll post the brand name. It is the best such product that I have found, but make no mistake about it---any weed eventually can and will grow through it if you allow it to happen.

    These landscape fabrics are very helpful in preventing weed seeds that germinate from turning into a weedy problem, but a perennial creeping grass like bermuda can grow right through them from above, and if you let the grass grow underneath the fabric long enough, it will make its way up through the fabric too, though it takes it a long time. The thicker I put the mulch on top of the fabric, the less likely it is that something will grow through it, but I cannot just ignore plants that pop up in the mulch on top of the fabric, or they'll eventually put their roots down right through the fabric. Still, it has reduced my weed issues by about 90%.

    One year, I put down the fabric in between rows of corn and didn't get back to it and get the mulch on it. Without the mulch, the landscape fabric slowly rose higher and higher into the air as weeds grew underneath it and lifted it up. Without mulch on top of it, it allows enough light through it that the weed seeds germinate and grow. For me, it only works well if I mulch early and heavily, and then keep after the weeds that sprout in it, but it does work.

    There are times I have to pull so many sprouting weeds out of the mulch on top of the landscape fabric that I wonder how much good it does to use it. Then, though, I look at rows of peppers or tomatoes planted in a bed with landscape fabric versus something like onions planted in a bed without it, and there's no contest. The beds with the landscape fabric are much less weedy throughout the season. I wish I could use it in every raised bed in my garden, but it isn't practical to use it in rows where you have plants growing every few inches.

    I'm always going to have serious weed issues here in our rural area because we're surrounded by native grasslands where plants set seed, and the wind or rain carries them into my garden. The weeds are my least favorite thing about gardening, and I consider bermuda grass the worst weed of all.

    When we built the raised beds for our roses, we rototilled the land, then we waited a couple of weeks for regrowth and sprayed it with Round-up. Then we waited another week and laid down black plastic on top of the whole area. Then we built raised beds directly on top of the black plastic, putting purchased soil-less mix in them, mixed with some native soil we had from digging out the area where we put the lily pond. We put bark mulch down on the pathways. For three or four years that plastic worked perfectly, but eventually bermmuda grass crept in underneath it and began growing up through it. I don't use black plastic in my garden though, because it prevents rainfall from soaking in, and that's the advantage of the fabric landscape cloth---rainfall and irrigation can penetrate it.

    Dawn

  • hiites
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like to use old shingles in my garden paths.

  • biradarcm
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Seedmama,
    Thanks for the info on Clethodim, sounds good. I am going employ multiple strategies as you did. I agree too with you and Helenh, I brought home to start my hobby (gardening!). I guess my realtor may go wrong, as growing demand for fresh and chemical free food; in future, wise home buyer will start looking at the home with already built gardens! Indeed I am thinking about edible landscaping! I am quite happy with home especially backyard with full view, with wonderful sunset, with decent neighbors even though they won�t like do gardening but never say no to fresh vegetables and they nice people.

    Carol,
    No-till garden sounds interesting, I have been eading about it in couple of books and blogs. But I think my garden beds may not ready yet for that, as native soil, amendments, compost not mixed up well. So I need till for another 2-3 seasons to make to ready for no-till? Please correct me if I am wrong. Yes despite of all those hardship, we harvested decent amount of produce, but not enough donate to Oklahoma food bank, hope we can this time.
    Now I have got pretty good ideas for garden paths, thank you for all those inputs. I like the garden path with good landscape fabric then put sand on it, even kids through some sand into beds that not a bad either as these beds need some sand. I will update you all probably by fall.

    Dawn, please let us know brand of landscape fabric you buy. We won't have CostCo here in OK, but few friends who often visit us who lives in Dallas area.

    By the way, does cardboard has any harmful chemical which leaches into soil over the years? What kind of cardboard is safe in gardens? Last time I used some cardboard which has water repellent paper outside of the box, which took longer time to breakdown.

    Jo, your garden is beautiful, pretty nice setting and layout. I guess you might spend tons on mulch to cover that much area.

    Cheers -Chandra

  • Tractorlady63
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I decided to no-til last year and dug my garden by hand from scratch. Once I dug the 3x10' beds out I put down a layer of crushed leaves and then covered the leaves with the soil I had dug out. The soil in my backyard must have come from the landfill, as I found a tennis shoe and many other interesting items as I dug. I let it all sit until April (about 2 months) and then planted. We only walked on the paths between the beds. Garden did pretty good, even with the heat. This year, the soil is wonderful. It has been so easy to turn over. It is nice and soft and loose. I'm digging in bunny poo, thanks to the new addition to our family and more leaves as I turn it over, but I'm not needing to dig it completely out like last year. I'm excited to see how it does. Hopefully this year will allow me to add sides to the beds and start filling them with compost.

    I like the idea of mulch between the beds. I had trouble keeping the grass down on the paths. The beds weren't too bad for keeping weeded though. The city of Tulsa has free wood chips available to use for mulch. I'm thinking of loading up on some after I line the paths with cardboard and newspaper. The landscape fabric stakes are working great so far for anchoring down the cardboard and the newspaper.

  • joellenh
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chandra, Thank you! I loved that thing. It is all torn up now and half of the fence is pulled up to make room for the wreckers. It almost kills me to see it.

    Your garden is SO beautiful too! I will live vicariously through you all this year.

    I didn't spend a ton of money at all on mulch. I got cardboard on freecycle/from friends/neighbors, and topped most of it with straw. I'd say last year I MIGHT have bought 20 bales. So just over $100. And the worms underneath all of that straw and cardboard are crazy! I just love how even the soil in the pathways is being improved, DRAMATICALLY!

    In the future, if I have some spare money, I might go with a more permanent mulch like pavers or pea gravel. For now, straw is great.

    My husband DOES spray grass killer around my garden edging (the stones surrounding my garden). You can see the dead grass in the pic. But the borders are many feet from the nearest bushes, so I am semi-okay with this. What I'd really love to do this weekend is get up on my roof and pull off a bunch of shingles to slip partway under the rocks, so he won't have to spray in the future. I hope the weather is nice, and that I can find the time.

    Jo