I’m making progress on the never ending project that is our yard. With 5 acres, only a few years of home ownership experience under my belt and a limited budget I spend more time “learning important lessons” about gardening and lawn care than in actually being successful but at least I’m learning. Last year I tried re-doing several of our flower beds. They looked okay but then this year I let the weeds get established and then I just couldn’t get caught back up with them. Big mistake! In the future I will remember that all weeds must be destroyed while they are still tiny or else the garden will be a complete disaster. In addition to looking terrible, I lost quite a few perennials that hadn’t had a chance to really get established before the weeds took them over. Thankfully we’ve been having beautiful weather lately and I’ve had some extra time to get a lot of work done. There is still plenty of work yet to go, of course, but its motivating to see some progress!
I’m preparing all of the flower beds in this manner:
- removing most of the weeds, but not worrying too much about really small weeds or grass or if I occasionally leave some roots behind
- putting down a layer of cardboard (this should take care of any of the smaller weeds that got left behind and will make sure nothing has a chance to put out any new growth)
- covering with weed cloth, making sure to overlap on the edges where it has to be joined and using metal pins to hold it in place around the edges. I’ve found in the past that if you don’t use the pins, the corners and edges will get pushed up or back, especially in places where water pools or runs
- covering with hardwood mulch
You can see some of the progress photos of this system here.
For now, all of the beds are edged with stones. I don’t have quite enough of the stone to completely go around the perennial flower garden, though, so I’m trying to think of another option that is inexpensive and easy to maintain. Chris doesn’t need to be able to mow up right beside it since he uses a weed whacker for edging around the house and gardens. Got any good ideas?