Reducing a flower bed

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Bwis53
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Reducing a flower bed

Postby Bwis53 » Mon May 26, 2014 9:07 pm

I have a flower bed, about 4 X 8, I want to largely reduce. I don't want rocks. In another location, I found out the hard way, mulch alone does not prevent weeds. My first flower garden, I had to dig out ugly gravel, lay down soil and some sod. My area has more weeds than I want to chase. Is sod my best bet? Any creative ideas?

Igor
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby Igor » Mon May 26, 2014 9:58 pm

If the area is at all level, I would say that seed rather than sod would yield a better result for something that size, but YMMV.

Bwis53
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby Bwis53 » Mon May 26, 2014 11:29 pm

That sounds nice, but what about weeds?

I'm still open to creative ideas.

Dairylander
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby Dairylander » Tue May 27, 2014 2:04 am

Yes, mulch requires an underlayment of plastic or landscaping fabric to control weeds.
Sod is lame. Turf grass is an invasive species.
One easy route would be a strong perennial that can control/dominate an area. A generic example is hosta.
Another option is the whole range of "stepables" - plants that tolerate foot traffic but don't require mowing.

snoqueen
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby snoqueen » Tue May 27, 2014 9:04 am

I have mostly gone with getting rid of turf grass in favor of native plants. However in one area I wanted to be rid of a patio of flat stones in favor of turf grass because that's where I hang out the laundry.

Because the patio had to be removed professionally, I let them put in the new grass. It was just a matter of raking everything flat and seeding.

Weeds did come up along with the grass, but mowing the tops off minimized their growth. I don't care if they're in there as long as they stay the same height as the grass. Any weeds that got tall, or had big leaves like burdock, I pulled out by hand.

This is totally manageable for a 4 x 8 plot. I am no fan of on your knees fussy gardening, and if I can do this one you can do it too. It's like five minutes every three weeks until the grass gets established.

Radical Cheerleader
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby Radical Cheerleader » Sat May 31, 2014 12:20 pm

Dairylander wrote:One easy route would be a strong perennial that can control/dominate an area. A generic example is hosta.
Another option is the whole range of "stepables" - plants that tolerate foot traffic but don't require mowing.

Hostas don't dominate. They're very hardy, but don't spread easily. The best plant that I can think of, which spreads like crazy and doesn't get too tall (5" to 10"), is lily of the valley. It has a very neutral dark green foliage and can tolerate being walked on without any problem. It would be able to fill up a 4x8 plot and not allow weeds to easily penetrate.

Remember_Me
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby Remember_Me » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:03 pm

Bwis53 wrote:I'm still open to creative ideas.


C4.

fennel
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Re: Reducing a flower bed

Postby fennel » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:52 pm

Bwis53 wrote:That sounds nice, but what about weeds?

I'd try 3+ inches of good wood mulch. That will remove the need for weed cloth — which is expen$ive for the effective stuff, anyway. (And weird. It feels like installing linoleum in your yard, Just not right, somehow.)

It will work better if you first "solarize" the area to safely kill off the existing growth. Northern (white) cedar mulch tends to last the longest, but it usually costs more. Whatever you get, make sure it's wood and only wood. (No dyes, colorants, fungicides, homicides, etc.) Replenish as necessary: the cycle will be from one to three years, depending on the type of mulch.


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