Tree Bark Instead of a Grass Lawn

Pathway bark, used in flower gardenOriginally, I thought that the rectangle-shaped space encased within my backyard flower garden would be filled with grass, either from seed or sod. However, the gophers in my yard forced me to reconsider other possibilities. I wanted to put in something that was cost-effective, low maintenance, attractive, and possibly ergonomically sound. Landscaping rock and bricks seemed like nice, permanent choices, but the idea of hauling very heavy things, plus the higher up-front cost made these options unappealing to me.  Also, I wanted to haul whatever material I needed in my own car.

Driving around today, I ended up at a home improvement place and found pathway bark. The bags contained 2 cubic feet of bark. I was able to get 8 bags into the trunk of my sedan. Each bag was relatively light weight, the cost was reasonably low (about $4.38 per bag), and the result, I think, is attractive. It’ll help to block out weeds and apparently provides a comfortable step for those who tread on it. I walked on it this afternoon after putting it in and the walk was, indeed, comfortable!  An additional benefit was that it hid some “incomplete” gopher holes (the dry soil appeared to be too hard for the gopher to dig through).

HOW TO: I first sprayed the area’s weeds with herbicide. Then, all I had to do was open up each bag, dump the contents onto the space, and use a rake to spread out the bark . This took no longer than 30 minutes.

In the background are my lovely roses, alstromeria (Peruvian lily), salvia, snapdragons, and cuttings of my dragon tree that I’m attempting to grow into trees.

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: Lantana is highly poisonous  if ingested. I get a rash after pruning it. Likewise, alstromeria or Peruvian lily is poisonous if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:


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