Landscaping rock has become a popular fixture in Northern Utah yards for both aesthetic and environmental reasons. But, once weeds pop up in your rock beds, that clean, architectural look quickly turns unsightly.
Homeowners and residential architects make ample use of landscape rock today. Environmentally, it cuts down on water use and the need for mowing. Aesthetically, it creates a clean look that harmonizes with the natural landscapes of Northern Utah.
And, if you can keep your rock beds weed-free, they will always look perfect with virtually no maintenance.
How to Remove Weeds from Landscaping Rock
Whenever you can, try to avoid using toxic chemicals in your yard and garden. You can successfully banish weeds from landscaping rock by pulling them but who wants to mess with that?
Instead, spray them with straight white vinegar. Be careful not to let the overspray reach your plants or grass, however, as it will kill them as well. You may want to use an electric trimmer or pruners to cut weeds low to the ground first, to make the treatment more effective.
If you’ve let your weeds get a little out of control, or if you have a lot of them, household-strength vinegar may not do the trick. The white vinegar you buy at the grocery store contains approximately 5 percent acetic acid, but 15 to 20 percent strength solution will do a better job. You can pick up horticultural vinegar or pure 20 percent vinegar at the home improvement store or online.
You can also pour boiling water directly on the weeds to kill them, but wear long pants and close-toed shoes, to avoid burning yourself.
How to Prevent Weeds from Growing in Existing Landscaping Rock
If your landscape rocks are already in place, you can help prevent new weeds from growing by treating and discarding existing weeds before they can drop seeds. If you pull weeds, make sure you get the root (wet them down first – it will make the job much easier).
Some landscapers swear by periodically sprinkling salt over the area. Apply the salt liberally and spray the area down with water.
You can also use a preemergent weed killer, as long as you apply it carefully, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Preventing Weeds from Growing in New Landscaping Rock
If you are preparing to put down landscaping rock, do yourself a favor and prepare the area appropriately.
If you are so inclined, use a good preemergent according to the product’s instructions. Next, install a steel edging border that is at least 3 inches high (4” is better). This will prevent weeds, grasses and plants from sending roots into your rock beds.
Now, put down a layer of underlayment. The heavy black plastic you may have seen in the past is not ideal. It decomposes quickly and corners start to stick up through the rock. Instead, top your bed with a good landscaping fabric. We highly recommend Hanes weed barrier fabric because, in our experience, it is the most weed-resistant.
If you want to add a layer to block the sun (sunlight encourages weed growth), add a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard over the fabric.
The Dirt Bag has everything you need for creating the perfect landscaping and we can deliver it right to your door. We have a variety of sizes and colors of landscape gravel, cobble and pea gravel. We can also deliver mulch, play sand, garden soil and topsoil, or you can pick up whatever you need at our West Jordan location. Contact us today to place your landscaping rock order.