Planting bulbs under pea gravel?

Hiya, I have a few beds with bulbs in them and was looking to put pea gravel down on top. I realize the pea gravel will help keep the weeds down but will it also prevent the bulbs from sprouting? I'm looking at putting 1-2" down. Thanks much, jlc
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James Culbertson wrote:

I doubt that 1 to 2 inches of pea gravel will do anything to keep weeds down.
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Travis in Shoreline Washington

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Ok. With that in mind then, is it safe to assume the bulbs will push up through it as well?
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On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 19:59:26 -0600, "James Culbertson"

two of debris has settled into the cracks and decomposed enough to provide a foothold for seeds. In any case, flowers surrounded by gravel isn't very appealing. He needs to think of another ground cover.
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On Sep 10, 12:21 am, sf wrote:

Bulbs will most likely push through. I have MANY flower beds that were mulched with 3-4 inches of gravel/small stones, and the hundreds of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, and crocuses planted in the beds don't seem to have any trouble at all. In fact, a significant part of my problem in removing the dratted stones is that I don't want to disturb the bulbs (so can't just remove shovel loads of dirt and sift it).
By the way, the stones do almost nothing to keep the weeds down. The weed seeds find their way down to the dirt and the weeds sprout up just as readily as the bulb flowers do. All the stones do is make weeding a major pain (like it isn't enough of one already), requiring every last little weed to be carefully hand plucked. I predict you will regret mulching the bed with gravel.
Jo Ann
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Thanks for the inputs. I'm looking for something that is low maintenance as a mulch that doesn't require me to wash, sift, replace, etc... every couple or so years. I think maybe for the bulb areas, I'll look at doing some sort of ground cover with a few shrubs for the summer/fall timeframe but still think I may have to go with the Pea Gravel for the other beds (largely perennials) given my desire for low maintenace mulch. Thanks again folks for all the inputs. Cheers, jlc
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Yes, that's essentially what I've been doing with the rocks, using a frame similar to what you describe that fits on top of my garden cart. It's just that there are SO many rocks, and it's SO inefficient. I have to shovel them off in a flat, shallow (back- breaking) scooping kind of motion to keep from digging into the ground, and once I'm finally left with only an inch of so of stones, it's SO hard to get the last ones. They are too heavy for a leaf rake to rake them off, too small for a garden rake, and each shallow shovel full, by then, has a very small ratio of rocks to dirt -- just enough for the rocks to still be in the way and keep me scraping away at them.
Really, it's the worst mulch I've ever worked with in my life (I'm no master gardener, but I've been picking away at it in one form or another since childhood). I'd far rather be stuck sifting and cleaning old mulch than weeding in these rocks.
Jo Ann
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Jo Ann wrote:
[....]

for reclaiming hardwood mulch I made a frame about 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet. then covered the bottom with wire mesh. the wire mesh has openings about .25 inch square. grab a few hand fulls of mulch, toss into the frame shake and dump the clean dirt free mulch into the collection container.
[....]

that's very true. in a walk way I put stone in the weeds grew great. later I took up the stone and put heavy tarps down and then put the stone back on top of the tarps. I still get weeds growing in the stone. they are a little easier to pull since their roots never make it into the dirt.

stones never worked well for me in a flower bed.
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I planted bulbs along a limestone gravel private drive and they not only come up, they are very happy daffodils. pea gravel doesnt compact so no problem at all. Ingrid
On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 19:22:29 -0600, "James Culbertson"

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