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What can I use to kill the grass so I can put in rock?
I have heard of the newspaper technique before, and although I have not tried it, here is what I would do. I would lay down the newspaper like the other posters have suggested. Then I would cover it with the rock that you want to use. Eventually the newspaper will decompose, but by then, there will be lots of dirt and such on top of the rock anyway. I have landscape fabric and rock in my yard, and have had this for over 8 years. I have to pull weeds out of the crushed rock off and on. If you don't do that, you have to dig out all the rock, and clean it with a screen, or replace it with new rock. Some of my neighbours clean their rock mulch with leaf blowers and such fairly often. It depends on how fussy you want to be.
1 gal white vinegar [$2.08 at Walmart], 1 cup salt, 1 good squirt of Lemon Joy liquid dish soap. I mix this in a watering can and 'water' the weeds in my pea stone dog pen about once every 4-6 weeks. Weeds are dead the day after I do this.
The newspaper weedblock seems dandy - easy and effective. Beware the newsprint, however. Many papers are still printed with a petroleum-based ink - NOT good for your soil.
How to kill very tall grass under thick tall shrubs?
You may want to start weed whacking it down and then pulling it out (depends on how big the space is and if you can get into the shrub area). Chemicals are not good if you have pets, small children, or the area has run off into your sewage systems, but I am a totally anti chemical person.
If you absolutely want to use something to kill the grass after you get it as short as possible, pour regular white vinegar on it. Several treatments should kill off the grass.
I do not particular like using chemicals but sometimes it is difficult to do the job any other way.
I would suggest trimming the weeds and then putting down landscape fabric and 2-4 inches of mulch.
I really prefer using several layers of newspapers and then add mulch on top.
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Give the area a good low cutting. Cover with thick black plastic. Make sure it is secure so it won't blow away. leave it until this time next year and then remove plastic. Cover area with landscape fabric and then mulch. The landscape fabric ensures that seeds from weeds the wind cares doesn't take root and start growing. (05/17/2005)
I am NOT a gardener, but this method worked WONDERFULLY for me --- Cut the grass -or don't, it won't matter!- and then cover the area with a thick layer of old newspaper (wet newsprint is easier to work with). Cover the newspaper with mulch - enough to hold/weigh the paper down. The newspaper will not only stop the weeds, but will NOT hurt the environment like plastic or chemicals might.
The idea comes from the book Lasagna Gardening.
I use the newspaper covered with straw or mulch in my beds and it works wonderfully! Try putting at least 30 pages or more thick to make sure it is enough to choke out the weeds. You will love this and it is not messy like using plastic etc. (06/20/2005)
By Julie Braswell.
We have found that the newspaper really works and eventually it will decompose and that is good for the lawn. Here is how we did all of our flower beds:
1. We loosened up the soil and pulled up really large weeds or flowers.2. Wet the soil well and then began layering newspaper in all of the bed. When we came to a spot that I wanted to plant something I stopped and carefully dug the hole and put lots of newspaper around it. I also watered down the newspaper in order to get it to lay down. I saved up newspaper for a long time for this and really laid it thick.
3. After making sure that you get every spot covered with newspaper I put down black landscape fabric and then a layer of red mulch on top. My neighbors all have weeds growing in their flower beds and will have to redo the whole flower beds this year. I will only have to cut through the black plastic and dig through the newspaper and I can plant whatever. Make sure that the newspaper is thoroughly wet.I expect my flowerbeds to be weed free for a couple of years while my neighbors must do this every spring! I will probably throw a little more mulch over the existing mulch just to keep it fresh looking.
The newspaper is really great idea, I used it many times and it works great. There are many things out that can do the same job as the newspaper, but the newspaper one is cheap or even free (if you can use some paper you got for free). I also learned if you use dog urine, it does the job even better then the newspaper. It maybe sound weird but it works so much faster. If you have any questions just ask me. -Adam B.
By Adam B.
What about using something like salt or boiling water? I've heard that works, and its good for the environment. It will have a longer effect. (06/17/2007)
I put rocks on the front porch and the grass is growing through it need to kill it.