Mulch substitute -- crushed brick ??

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I have a fairly large gazebo, built on the side of a mountain, on a sloped site. I have planted many plants all around the structure, and I need a mulch substitute. The site is too steep for regular mulch. or straw, as the rains will just wash it down. Same problem with installing weed screens, any mulch on top of that will just wash away.
I have seen what looks like crushed red brick in commercial restaurants such as McDonald's etc. It may be a lava type product, but the last time I noticed, it looks like crush brick pieces. It is a reddish color, and it looks really good where I have seen it.
The problem (and my question) is whether or not weeds are a big problem if you use that product as a mulch subtitute. I would think that if you got it 3 or 4 inches deep, weeds would not grow through it, like it will with mulch. My thinking is that mulch retains moisture, and promotes weed growth, and that the brick product would not hold moisture. By the way, this is in a shady area, and the "mulch" would be more for looks that for preserving moisture for the plants. That is not a concern or problem in my situation.
Have any of you ever used this crushed brick product, or can any of you offer comments or advice ??
Thank you very much !!
James
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On Wed, 30 May 2007 22:03:13 -0400, James <no> wrote:

It usually is a lava, and it is, imho, ugly. Terribly ugly when it's not like the native rock of the area.

Weeds (and other seeds) require several things for germination: 1) a suitable growing medium 2) enough water 3) light
The easy way to prevent weed growth is what agronomists call "canopy closure" -- plants growing so densely that light doesn't reach the soil. Or starving the surrounding soil of water, which you're not going to do during the establishment phase of the plantings. 3-4" of coarse rock isn't likely to do much unless it's well packed. Doesn't sound like you can provide that. Red light of the wavelengths that trigger germination can penetrate 18" of some soils.
If you're dealing with a slope so steep you can't keep mulch on it, you're going to continue to have erosion. Were it mine, I'd probably do some mini-terracing and use an organic mulch with a tackifier until the plantings are dense enough to hold the soil.
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IMO, stone and mulch don't differ all that much in detering weeds. I've used mulch for years with no major weed problems. And rock sounds good, at least initially. But after time, organic matter, like leaf fragments, wind blown dust, etc, settle in and then there is enough matter to support some weeds.
A draw back to rocks is that in hot environments, they expose the plants to a lot more heat stress than mulch would. However, in the right place with the right plants stone can be fine.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how mulch is so easily coming off a sloped area. I have 2 steep piles of mulch sitting in my driveway for 2 months now and they haven't spread out. Is a lot of water washing down from a hill above? If so, a solution might be to put a drainpipe along the slope above the mulch/planting area to intercept the runoff and route it around the bed.
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Germination of seed does not require light of any kind. Nor does it require any soil or other medium. Presence of adequate, but not overdoing it, water is required. The other primordial requirement is temperature range.
Many people, including myself, can cause a pinto bean to germinate on a sponge in the window sill. Dave
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["Followup-To:" header set to alt.building.construction.]

As I said... suitable growing medium, enough water, light (try growing that pinto bean in a darkroom for a few weeks) And yes, temperature is a factor. So is oxygen tension. Both are generally not an issue in upper level natural seed banks outdoors.

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Agree w/ the other two respondents' comments.
Only would add that imo if you think the look appropriate for the area, it could be sufficient to hold the weed barrier in place. It definitely won't stop weed growth on its own and indeed will be less effective by itself than mulch by itself owing to the porous nature. Undoubtedly those installations you've seen have barrier cloth below.
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This is a cleaning newsgroup. Try rec.gardens.
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Take a chill pill, Phish. Ain't nothing else going on in here.
peggo
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peggo wrote:

That's because you and Nan ruined our linoleum thread.
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On Fri, 01 Jun 2007 03:23:00 -0400, Denominator

Pfft. That thread died long before peggo and I livened it up.
Nan
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Nan wrote:

... not for those of us with small blotches on linoleum.
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On Fri, 01 Jun 2007 17:16:10 -0400, Denominator

Then you're just too lazy. You should have had those cleaned up days ago.
Nan
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Nan wrote:

If flaming from Mrs. Bonk and her USELESSNET wannabes hadn't destroyed the thread, maybe Neil and I would have learned what to do.
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On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 10:44:52 -0400, Denominator

If you have to rely on a cleaning newsgroup to figure out how to clean, you're hopeless.
Nan
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Nan wrote:

How was Neil supposed to know your gang had chased away all the knowledgeable contributors?
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I think Neil needs to control his anger. Then he'll be able to understand when his question is answered.
peggo
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peggo wrote:

What group was it answered in?
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On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 21:12:00 -0400, Denominator

Neil has issues.
Nan
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Nan wrote:

Yes, Cleaning Small Blotches on Linoleum. Mrs. Bonk and her Wannabes hijacked the thread to discuss personal problems.
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Isn't this going far beyond the subject matter of the OP ??
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