Best option to cover beds (mulch/pebble?)

Hello,
I was looking for some advice on how best to cover our front garden which is just beds with a couple of rose bushes. There are no beddin plants as we don't have time to maintain them really.
I was thinking of just covering the beds with weed control material and putting down some mulch to cover the area. The garden is flat, an I was worried about the mulch bark chippings blowing away. Is thi likely? Alternative is to use something like pebbles or similar.
We don't really mind that much how it looks (it is a rented house an the landlord is letting us doing it and paying for it), just that it' easily maintainable.
Thank you very muc
--
stillill

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stillill;737170 Wrote:

Hi, Your first impulse is the best one here. Lay the weed suppressan material and then a good thick timber mulch is hard to beat. If you la it 6" thick it won't be long before it's 4" thick due to the rai compressing it. The thickness is your defence. It also helps preven dehydration for the plants you do wish to keep there.
Conversely, if you lay stone down a) its heavier work, b)seeds are mor likely to spring up through it c) and if weeds do come through it, the will be that much harder to remove through stone chippings.
In my experience weeds will eventually come through any mulch. But wit wood chippings for example, when they do eventually surface they will b much weaker for their effort and easy to remove.
Normally, you should not put new wood chippings down due to an 'toxins' that will leach from the wood and harm your planting. But i your supply comes from a bag through a garden centre these will hav already matured sufficiently to be safe
--
Winsford

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stillill wrote:

Roses in of themselves require maintenance and are best grown in bare soil, mulched only during cold weather.
For most other shrubbery pine bark nuggets atop weed block cloth works well... larger nuggets won't blow away and will last at least five years... freshen occasionally with a light layer of new nuggets. If you plant a ground cover it will mature enough to suppress weeds long before the cloth and nuggets decompose; rug juniper works well.
Pebbles will eventually create a disaster, when the weed block cloth begins to decay weeds will pop through the pebbles no matter how deep they're piled... you'll need to remove the pebbles and start over, much easier said than done. Plus the pebbles will migrate all over the yard, and they won't decay.... but as a tenant you'll move away and leave your mess behind, everytime your landlord looks at those pebbles s/he will curse the day you were born.
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Shredded mulch stays put better than chips, which tend to blow around. As others mentioned, forget the pebbles.
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Personally, I would like to shoot the person who decided to mulch all of the garden beds around my house with pebbles. As mentioned, the weed cloth (if any) has long since stopped doing its job, and every single weed needs to be pulled by hand -- and we're talking a LOT of weeds that like that well-mulched soil -- digging my fingers through several inches of rocks in a (usually futile) attempt to reach far enough down on the stem to pull the roots.
And don't get me started about what it's like trying to plant something new in the beds (I know you don't care, but future residents might).
I'm in the process of removing the stones, and it's one of the most long-lasting, tedious garden jobs I've ever done. I consider deliberately adding stones to your flower bed a bad, bad, BAD idea.
Jo Ann
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Jo Ann wrote:

Not only did my house have extensive pebble beds, but when I went to replace some areas of lawn with flower beds I discovered that there had been even more pebble beds underneath -- someone had merely laid on some dirt and then seeded grass on top of that! It was too huge a job to dig out all the pebbles, so I mostly dug holes for new plants, and they've taken pretty well. From time to time I'll just sit myself down in an area and excavate the pebbles one by one. It's a very contemplative activity, really (how's that for a rationalization?) Sometimes I come upon shreds of landscape cloth at the very bottom. Since I keep adding compost and mulch, the beds aren't doing badly, even with the rocky substrate.
helco
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--
BetsyB
"Jo Ann" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
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Pine bark nuggets block weeds the best, shaped like large flat stones they overlap and do an excellent job of blocking weeds, and they're relatively dense so they don't blow away even in gale winds. And knowing that everyone's sense of aesthetics varies I still think fresh pine bark nuggets look a heck of a lot nicer than sheds and chips of nondescript origin... shreds decay rather rapidly, chips tend to float away in heavy rains. Pinebark is actually quite impervious to decay and insects. Shreds and chips are an excellent way to introduce diseases and insects into a garden; either use totally composted organic matter (which makes for a terrible weed blocking mulch) or some type of wood that is naturally averse to decay and insect infestation... redwood, cypress and pine bark are all good choices.
There are also various grades of weed block cloth... I've tried many kinds in all different price ranges... the one sold by Leevalley.com is by far the best value, I get better than 10 years from theirs.
Btw, the proper underlayment for pebbles is polyethylene sheeting, not cloth. For landscape work polyethylene is available with minute perforations; permits water and air to pass. But I still don't recommend pebbles, not unless you're of the trailer trash head set... crushed white marble makes a wonderful backdrop for plastic pink flamingos up against your very classy turquoise doublewide [trailer].
Sheldon
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Mulch http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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I just spent two hours weeding a 3x15' bed that was covered with weed block fabric and stone mulch. Let me tell you it was miserable work getting those damned roots out of the fabric. Don't worry about the mulch chips blowing away, worry about the weed seeds blowing into the mulch and onto the fabric, germinating, setting roots through the fabric, and the not being able to get them out.
Leave out the fabric. Put down a good layer of mulch. Plan on pulling a few weeds - easy enough if done while they're still young, you can just move the mulch around a bit and it's all done.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Just a comment. Noticed roses that I've seen usually are more likely develop some kind of leaf disease/deterioration if mulch is used around it. Careful with the irrigation if you choose this route. Dave
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