I would welcome comments from some of you more experirenced gardners. My
garden consists of about a dozen beds of various sizes (15x5 being common)
with grass walkways in between. The walkways are wide enough to run a lawn
mower through them. I've considered killing the grass. I have an old
swimming pool liner that I am thinking of cutting up into strips and laying
it on the walkways for a while, so I can kill the grass without resorting to
Any thoughts of having grass near and through a garden? Is it likely to
house and breed flea beetles and other insects, and would you recommend
getting rid of it? Or would you consider it to be harmless and possible
aesthetically pleasing (it does look nice in the summer to have nice green
pathways through the garden)>
If you have good grass between, were it me, I'd leave it be. You kill
the grass and you have mud to walk on, or you have to mulch.
Acts as a living mulch. You kill the grass, you will have "weeds" to
deal with. And tufts of grass that you didn't kill. Untidy.
I would guess the grass also conserves moisture in the area and helps
keep it cooler.
Like you said, it looks nice this way also.
If the grass is becoming a maintenance problem, replace it with
decomposed granite (DG) walkways. The walkways through my garden
consist of a 3-inch layer of DG over ground cloth and framed with some
kind of composition boards. The ground cloth is porous but has such a
fine mesh that weed roots do not penetrate; thus, weeding is easy. The
walkways drain quite well.
If you are in a climate where the soil freezes, you might need a thicker
layer of DG. Also, the surface of the DG should be even with the
surrounding beds. This means digging down at least 3 inches. Also, if
you have any appreciable slope, you might need some of the framing to
cross the walkway to inhibit erosion.
After being wet by my garden sprinklers, drying, being walked upon, and
then all that repeated about 3-4 times, a DG walkway sets up quite firm.
I can even rake leaves and other garden debris from it. But it cannot
be swept with a broom without having to replace some of the DG.
I still have a grass lawn, but it is quite small. It's red fescue
(Festuca rubra), an ornamental grass that grows about 6-12 inches high
and flops over. I can walk on it, but it's not intended for children to
play ball on it. It gets mowed 1-2 times a year (especially in the
fall, so that I can rake leaves off it).
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Thank you everyone! It seems the general consensus is that it doesn't hurt
anything to have these grass covered pathways through the garden. I live in
the mid-Willamette Valley, western Oregon, right in the middle of the grass
seed farming area - grass grows everywhere, and very well.
Beautiful country up there! I hate gravel, but was wondering if you'd
considered hardscaping your garden paths? They have wonderful pavers
out now that are made of concrete, but have a natural stone look. We
just replaced our sidewalk with them a few days ago and we're very
happy with the result!
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
I thought of that, but my garden layout is not static. There is a huge apple
tree that shades one side in the morning, and a huge fir tree that shades
the other side in the afternoon. Plus fruit trees on the west side and a
fence in progress that will shade one of the beds when it's finished. I'm
not quite sure what they final layout would be. Too many other things still
on my to-do list, it never ends <sigh>.
I have fescue lawn grass growing all around most gardens. No doubt,
grass controls erosion and weeds. Right now, I am seeing a lot of
bluebirds in my backyard, with the main focus of hunting for insects
in the lawn. Grass will provide a place for flea beetles and well as
beneficial spiders. My second choice would be to replace the grass
with a mulch, very last choice is bare dirt. Grass is pleasing, but
not all agree.
we got tired of the "grass" which was just weeds. so we skinned the top layer
put down landscape fabric and brought in the pea gravel. The snow and ice melt
incredibly fast and the drainage is heaven even after big ass downpours. We
definitely think the dark gravel sets off the flower beds beautifully. We gave
our lawn mower.
here is more of my landscape I have updated recently in teh backyard.
and this shows how some of the raised beds have changed
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