Fighting Weeds with Landscaping Fabric

Not so long ago, this narrow side yard off my kitchen had tall, dead grassy weeds that looked like prairie lands! It was a project that I long delayed, until after I put in my fruit trees and raised row garden beds. With the help of a good string trimmer, I cut down the weeds and saw that they were, in fact, dead. Firstly, it was such a great relief to have that part of my back yard restored. I’d forgotten how much space I’d actually had there!IMG_3102

I’d decided that this side yard would be a container garden, likely to grow heirloom fruits and vegetables (at least that is what I am thinking as of this moment). As narrow as this area is, and even though it’s been covered with weeds for a while, gophers still attacked it. So, after removing the dead vegetation, I covered the area with stucco netting (chicken wire), holding it in place with landscaping staples. After that, I covered the area with landscaping fabric, specifically polypropylene woven ground cover. In combination, I should have a gopher- and weed-free side yard that is ready for a container garden. I am also considering roses again for the first time in a long time, but they would always be in large containers. I covered the even narrower space across from it surrounding western/southwestern part of my house. I might put in some nice container plants from the dollar store in that area for color. So many possibilities for these blank garden canvasses!

This method of managing weeds is not the most elegant, it’s true (check out the fancy blue stripes!), but it is very low maintenance, easy to replace (I have plenty of landscaping fabric left over), moderately priced, and frankly, very easy to haul to and from your car. The area is empty for the moment, but will be filled in soon. Until then, it’s very wonderful contemplating the plants that might go into this reclaimed space!

UPDATE: I’ve owned this string trimmer for less than three years and something in the wiring makes it short out and not work. This happened today, 3/15/2014, the second such incident. I only use it once a month, so I doubt it is from overuse. Sadly, I will hold off on bringing it back to the repair shop since I suspect the problem will return and I am not sure what causes it to short out. It is also a bit tiresome to have to the battery run out in under 30 minutes and then you have to wait to recharge it to continue on with your work. (Hands thrown up in the air). Disappointed with Ryobi. If manufacturers want more people to “go green,” they have to make the products last as long (if not longer) and perform as well as non-green products. I will be shopping for a gas-powered string trimmer soon.

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