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Old Weed Cloth/Grass

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Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/9/2018, 8:24 pm

Nearly six years ago now, I planted my first 4' x 4' here in Bend, OR.  Naturally, I placed weed cloth on the bottom.

Subsequent beds, BTW, had the grassy underlayer dug out.

I've recently spent several hours with my digging fork and brute strength (such as it is these days), digging out grass from several 4' x 4's. That original bed was particularly difficult, and I learned that the grass had grown through the weed cloth.  I'm tempted to tear or cut out that weed cloth and see what happens in the future.  Or should I dig out the MM, lift the bed, and start anew?  Thoughts?

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2018, 1:34 am

Sad  Sad   Donna, do you have Bermuda grass or something similar that spreads underground?  Did you use the cheaper thin black plastic or the thicker gray fabric?  The only thing I can think of, if it was the cheaper black plastic, rebuild with the commercial grade, extending beyond the bed.  Also line the inside of the bed with a second layer.  Screen the Mix before replacing.  All of my beds have an air gap because of the invading roots from trees, bushes and roses.

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/10/2018, 11:43 am

Sanderson,

Thanks for your input.

I don't know what that grass is!  The lawn was replaced 3-4 years ago.  

I used the SFG weed cloth.  I do have a raised bed liner that might work, with the commercial-grade weed cloth you suggested: https://www.gardeners.com/buy/raised-bed-liners-in-four-sizes/8589751VS.html

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  Turan on 4/10/2018, 12:39 pm

I have not met ANY weed cloth that is not bored through by quack grass roots. It is a constant battle. I try to keep it out of the paths and a 2 foot diameter around the garden by digging, covering with black plastic, or metal roofing, or heavy rubber mats from a horse trailer. The best way I know to get it out of a bed is to dig it out as thoroughly as possible and then cover the bed with black plastic for at least one season. I usually grow a squash in the bed, that is a small hole in the center of the bed.

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/10/2018, 12:50 pm

Turan, 

After reviewing a few photos, I don't think it's quack grass, although I do have some patches here and there in the lawn and elsewhere.

So far, I think it most closely resembles Bermuda grass, which is cold-hardy and may well have been one of the grasses included in my lawn replacement.

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  Turan on 4/10/2018, 1:09 pm

Quack and Bermuda seem to have very similar type of root that pokes right through things so I am guessing similar strategies would work.

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2018, 2:00 pm

Donna, The fabric looks like what I would call contrator's grade of weed fabric. I buy a 4' x 100' roll of it at a time. The thin black stuff is cheaper but breaks down so fast exposed to the sun and is easy to accidentally tear in the beds.

Looking at photos on Bing, I have a feeling our once fescue lawn is now quack grass. It is thick and clumpy but holds up to traffic! Razz Any crab grass is quickly removed because it smothers anything around it.

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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  jimmy cee on 4/10/2018, 11:12 pm

When going through the trouble of laying down weed barrier multiple layers are much better than a single layer. Regardless of the quality of the material. Of course in this case because it is difficult to correct problems if they arise cost should be minimal and not even considered.  In any event the very best way to build a bed is to elevate it...
Believe me I had much experience with this problem.
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Re: Old Weed Cloth/Grass

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/11/2018, 11:07 am

Jimmy,

Unfortunately, I have no carpentry skills whatsoever.  In addition, it's planting time already, not a good time to start over.  Thanks, however, for the suggestion.

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