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.
On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 19:59:26 -0600, "James Culbertson"
I doubt they will push through, weeds usually appear after a year or
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
History is a vast early warning system
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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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