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Pine straw or mulch for front flower bed???

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Old 04-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #1
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Pine straw or mulch for front flower bed???

I want your opinion and what is best to get rid of weeds?? I was thinking lay down landscape fabric then cardboard then mulch or straw !!!! Give me ideas
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 AM   #2
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How about some rubber mulch?
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppham444 View Post
How about some rubber mulch?
This. It lasts forever and you can move it to another tree later.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
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The weeds will seed/grow in whatever is on top of your buffer eventually anyway, a good quality landscape fabric then mulch should work fine. IMO the cardboard will soak and hold water which will create a good environment for weeds to grow so it might work against its purpose.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #5
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depends on the flower bed. obviously getting in there and tearing them (the weeds) out by hand is a good start, but if they are small and young flowers, go with pine straw. once theyre bigger, and if you're still having a more than is expected weed problem, try mulch.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spares View Post
The weeds will seed/grow in whatever is on top of your buffer eventually anyway, a good quality landscape fabric then mulch should work fine. IMO the cardboard will soak and hold water which will create a good environment for weeds to grow so it might work against its purpose.
you're kind of right. mulch is fantastic for root growth for most every home garden plant, especially trees. . but all plants also need sunlight. so when you tear out the weeds, and mulch over them, they don't have sunlight to grow

.. another thing OP, when you mow grass near your flowers, make sure it is always blowing away from your flowers. not because of wind damage, because of spreading more weed seeds.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:19 AM   #7
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I use straw and spray round up when needed. I like the straw because its cheaper but like the look of mulch. But I've also been told that mulch attracts termites. So I've been afraid to use it since most of mine is next to the house. I also like the straw for when I trim the bushes, I put a few new bails out after to cover the small clippings I can't pick up. Not sure how mulch will do for this.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppham444 View Post
How about some rubber mulch?
I like the rubber tree ring but the rubber ring wont work for flower bed lol think the rubber mulch will be to high of cost at this time
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spares View Post
The weeds will seed/grow in whatever is on top of your buffer eventually anyway, a good quality landscape fabric then mulch should work fine. IMO the cardboard will soak and hold water which will create a good environment for weeds to grow so it might work against its purpose.
Mulch above fabric will break down into soil and weeds will still grow above the fabric. Fabric is good when you're using rock for landscaping.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spares View Post
The weeds will seed/grow in whatever is on top of your buffer eventually anyway, a good quality landscape fabric then mulch should work fine. IMO the cardboard will soak and hold water which will create a good environment for weeds to grow so it might work against its purpose.
cardboard will attract termites as will newspaper (so says my termite guy)

a thick enough layer of mulch will prevent weeds from coming from below. You will still get weeds from seeds planted on top.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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Either one is great, you just need to control the weeds, spray weed killer once a week or so, that usually works
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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IMO, go with a fabric, and either rubber mulch, or stone. Regular mulch does break down and will grow weeds in it, making the fabric useless. You can use a heavy layer of mulch which will choke out the weeds, but plan on what I like to call "top coating" it every year. Also I saw termited mentioned before, and regular mulch will attract them also. Only way to keep weeds out completely is too keep them from being able to root, and you can really only do the with a fabric and something that won't break down...

Also keep regular mulch away from the house, because of the termites.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:45 AM   #13
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Good fabric helps a lot but weeds after a while will eventually poke through here and there. I think that pine straw is a torch waiting to be lit. Mulch is good for the flower beds as it breaks down.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:53 AM   #14
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Pine straw is shit.

It will wash away with the rain. Give yourself a year or two of virtually untouched landscaping and your pinestraw will be completely gone.

Recommendation, clear out the area, lay down some topsoil if your like me and live on the coast and have crap soil. Coat it in some good long term weed killer. Then put down the black weed reducing fabric. Then lay either rubber mulch or bulk mulch. Put down a little brick retaining wall partially recessed and take some ibuprofen.

FTW.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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Till up the whole yard and lay asphalt. Thats the only way to get rid of weeds.

Otherwise, its maintenance, not the mulch/fabric/newspaper/pinestraw that will keep weeds at bay.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invstmntbnkr View Post
I want your opinion and what is best to get rid of weeds?? I was thinking lay down landscape fabric then cardboard then mulch or straw !!!! Give me ideas
I would recommend laying down landscape fabric then some sort of mulch or maybe lava rock. Straw, along with other lighter things, will wash away or get blown away by the wind. As far as maintenance for this you would just have to sort of "spot spray" weed killer when stuff eventually does (and it will) make it through the landscape fabric.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:42 PM   #17
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Don't waste your money on landscape fabric. It's crap. Most professionals do not use fabric unless it's under rock/pebbles.

A good thick later of mulch or pine straw will prevent weeds. Make sure you lay it thick enough. A 2-4" layer of mulch should protect just fine. Most people spread their mulch too thin to try to save money and it doesn't block the weeds well. I get very few if any weeds in my mulch beds, the only barrier I have is mulch. I've had many of my customers try to be cheap with me and ask for less mulch. I ask them "Do you want weeds or do you want mulch?" Their response is "mulch" at which point they usually shut up and realize I know what I'm doing and know how much mulch I need for a job.

Pine straw works out to be a bit cheaper in the long run than mulch around here plus it's plentiful around here. I can get it from anywhere from 2.50-3.50 a bale depending on where I go.

Lava rock and pebbles suck when it comes to edging and string trimming. One of my clients has it in her yard and I hate it. When I'm trying to trim with the string trimmer it slings the stuff everywhere. I'm lucky I haven't broken a window yet. I hate that stuff with a passion. I have some river pebble walkways around my house but I used landscape edging to keep them contained.

At my personal house. I put black colored mulch down in the front yard and pine straw in the back. I stopped putting mulch down in the back yard because they dogs like to eat it and then they puke it up all over inside the house.

I mulch and pine straw twice a year. In the spring and the fall.

Here's a pic from yesterday. Black mulch in the front beds and pine straw in the back. The pine straw still needs to settle a bit that's why it looks fluffy in the pic.






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Old 04-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrw3685 View Post
Pine straw is shit.

It will wash away with the rain. Give yourself a year or two of virtually untouched landscaping and your pinestraw will be completely gone.

Recommendation, clear out the area, lay down some topsoil if your like me and live on the coast and have crap soil. Coat it in some good long term weed killer. Then put down the black weed reducing fabric. Then lay either rubber mulch or bulk mulch. Put down a little brick retaining wall partially recessed and take some ibuprofen.

FTW.
Well duh..pine straw and mulch both should be re-applied once per year minimum. I will say that pine straw doesn't hold up as well in high traffic areas.

The problem with rubber mulch is when it gets somewhere you don't want it. It doesn't biodegrade so it's permanently there.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #19
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I posted this in another thread but I'll re-post it here

This is how you get those nice defined edges you see in my pics above. Just takes a shovel and some sweat.

Here's a tip to get that "perfect edge" between the mulch beds and the grass FOR FREE. My neighbors ask me all the time what I use to keep the grass from growing in the beds and how much dirt I added to "raise" my beds. My answer is...a shovel...and I didn't add any dirt. I have bermuda grass which "spreads" If it isnt edged every week during the growing season you'll have grass growing in your mulch beds. Zoysia, St Augustine, and Centipede also grow this way.
Quit wasting your time and money with all that crappy landscape edging that cracks, bends, rusts, and eventually pulls up out of the ground.
Mark where you want your edges (if you're extending beds). Dig a trench about 4-5" deep and about 6" wide. I find it's easiet to take the shovel and just run down the whole line (grass side), then turn around, move back 6" from your first line (bed side) and do the other line with the shovel tilted back towards the bed at a slight angle. I find this more efficient than alternating back and forth. Then come back and dig up the dirt (either dump it into the bed or get rid of it elsewhere. Then take your shovel and knock the corner off of the trench on the bed side. Essentially it will look like the picture attached. It also makes your mulch beds appear "raised" higher than your lawn when in fact, they aren't.
By digging the trench you are creating and air barrier so the roots of the grass would have to grow out into the air to reach the mulch bed. Which they won't do
Once you're done, you can re-mulch and it will keep the grass out of the mulch and the mulch out of the grass for the most part. Just edge it with your string trimmer or edger every week or every other week depending on what type of grass you have. If you don't know how to edge with a string trimmer, just turn it up on its side with the string 90 degrees to the ground.

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Old 04-30-2012, 06:37 PM   #20
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Wow. Thanks Macgyver! Good info. I'm thinking about doing the black mulch in the front and pine straw in the back too. Love the hosta's you got going on too. You've been dividing eh?

Looks good and thanks for the info!
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