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how to prevent weeds from growing through rocks

Because water passes through the landscape fabric under your rocks, holes in it need to be only large enough to fit around the bushes’ trunks. Cut lines in the fabric from its sides nearest to the holes for the trunks, so you can wrap the fabric around them. Covering the fabric with rocks helps hold it in place, although placing landscape staples every 2 feet or so along each edge of the fabric also helps.

Plastic is the best weed barrier under rock, but water won’t pass through it to feed the bushes’ roots. An option is to use the plastic, but leave large holes in it around the bushes. Alternatively you can combine the underlayments, placing landscaping fabric around the bushes and then covering the rest of the rock garden with heavy plastic. You’ll still leave holes for the bushes, but that space will be weed resistant because of the landscaping fabric.

Adding underlayments between the rocks and the soil creates a weed barrier that helps prevent weed seeds from touching the soil. If you already have rocks in place, rake them away temporarily while you install the underlayments. Choose landscape fabric or black plastic as the underlayments.

Best Weed Barrier Under Rocks

Rocks, including river rocks and gravel, commonly serve as mulch to help keep weeds from finding a home in flowerbeds. When you cover a rock garden completely in rocks, you have built-in mulch support. Whether your garden has large boulders as part of its design or is low and flat, using color and texture for design, ensure the area is covered completely with small rocks serving as mulch. Scrape the rock mulch about 2 inches away from the trunks of the bushes to help prevent root rot and other fungal infections.

A post-emergent herbicide kills weeds as soon as they sprout. Choose a non-selective herbicide such as one containing glysophate so it will kill nearly any kind of weed that appears. Care is essential when spraying the non-selective herbicide near your bushes because it can harm or kill bushes as well as weeds. Protect the bushes from herbicide drift by placing plastic or a large piece of cardboard between the bushes and where you spray, and spray only on days that aren’t windy.

The Chemical Herbicide Option

A rock garden adds texture and color to a difficult area of a yard, such as a hillside, and it serves as a focal point. Adding bushes to a rock garden adds a touch of plant life that doesn’t require constant upkeep. When weeds pop up between the rocks, they mar the garden’s appearance, but one or more weed-control options – most notably, landscape fabric under the rocks – can be used to restore the site.

Pulling weeds by hand is a traditional way to handle them organically, but other options exist that are easier on the back. Pouring boiling water over the weeds burns their leaves and kills the plants, as does pouring vinegar on them. Although salt is effective as a weedkiller, don’t use it in a rock garden that has bushes. Salt changes soil salinity and could kill your existing bushes while keeping future ones from growing.

How to prevent weeds from growing through rocks

Landscape fabric prevents your rocks and supporting sand or gravel from sinking into the soil under their own weight. The fabric helps stabilize your soil and reduce erosion. This is particularly important if you live in an area of regular rainfall.

Landscape fabric does not stop weeds from growing forever. Weed protection usually lasts a few years. Then organic material starts to build up between the rocks, weed seeds are carried in by the wind, and weeds grow again. Sometimes these new weeds can be hard to get rid of because their roots get tangled up in the fabric.

A good idea is to put in a steel edging border around 3 to 4 inches high. This will stop weeds, plants, and grasses from laying down roots in the rock beds.

Landscape Fabric

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Cardboard or newspaper has to be replaced regularly, which can be time-consuming, but it could be recycled in your garden.

You could leave holes in the plastic around your bushes to let the air and water in.

Plastic

Landscaping rocks are commonly used as ground cover. Rocks for garden beds have many benefits, including reducing water use and the need to mow. The rocks also do not blow away like lightweight mulch and will not decompose. Rocks are also decorative and can improve the appearance of your garden beds. But, when weeds rear their ugly head, it can put a damper on your parade. Learn what to put under rocks to prevent weeds from infiltrating your garden!

Salt is not advisable as a weed killer because it can kill your existing bushes by changing your soil’s salinity. It can also prevent new shrubs from growing.