drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
9/3/18 6:41 p.m.

Kinda late in the season on one hand but on the other I’ll have it done when the snow melts in the spring.  My old rock and wood chip perimeter around my house is due for a refresh.  Right now I have about 1/4 of it rock and the rest wood chips. I bought the house this way years ago and really haven’t had to ever touch (except for light weed pulling) it until now. Is there anything worthwhile besides wood chips or rock for this? I’ve seen some use pine needles and rubber mulch but those seem to be uncommon in my area (mn). I don’t have anything against wood chips or rock but just wondering if there is another widely used affordable material available for this simply for variety sake.

Also is there a preferred product to use as a weed barrier? Old owners had several layers of  plastic down that actually seemed to do a pretty good job keeping most weeds at bay for the almost 20 years it was in place.

STM317
STM317 SuperDork
9/3/18 8:24 p.m.

I prefer rock. It has to be replenished much less frequently than mulch, and it's typically very easy to pull any weeds out of since they can't take root easily. I like to use my leaf blower to clean leaves and stuff out of the beds too, which you can't do with mulch without blowing all of the mulch out too. And it seems to harbor fewer bugs than mulch.

jimbbski
jimbbski Dork
9/4/18 9:51 a.m.

Either river rock or mulch/wood chips. It depends on the area.  I've had areas that had rock and over the years so much dirt, etc. collected in the rock that weeds would grow quite well there. Mulch is good as you can just rake it off and recycle it every few years.

The last major landscaping job I did I choose to not use any rock/mulch cover.  I  planted some ground cover and flowers around the evergreens I planted there and it's worked fine for the last 10 years. very few weeds and easy to pull out.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
9/4/18 10:11 a.m.

I've always heard that it's a good idea to keep mulch away from the house to discourage termites. Rocks are the typical recommendation there. I've also seen first hand what too much mulch in contact with the house does to wood siding and it wasn't pretty - lots of rot.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/4/18 11:26 a.m.

In my experience, weed barriers aren't worth much.  Within just a few months, there is enough accumulation of grass clippings, leaves, and organic debris to allow weeds to grow.  It does make them easier to pull however.

I suggest rocks and roundup.  Be careful with the roundup though! 

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UberDork
9/4/18 2:19 p.m.

You can buy the colored recycled tire mulch by the ton.  Last I checked the pallet size bag was @$700 for 2000# of it.  It's a lot lighter than rock, so easier to move, but not as temporary as mulch.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/4/18 2:22 p.m.

Termites love wood chips. 

I have large bushes in the front and mow under them. The sides of the house have grass up to the brick and I weedeat it every other mowing. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
9/4/18 4:14 p.m.

Here in no-termite-land we use wood chips.

Lay them down decently thick, no need for a barrier.  No barrier is very handy for planting annuals.

Best upgrayedd I have done in a long time was edging our beds with 6" x 3/16" mild steel. Laser straight, super durable, looks fantastic, doesnt move, chip, crack, lift, etc.  All in cost me around $400 for 120 linear feat of edging plus stakes.  Stakes are 12" x 1/2" rebar.  Me and the Mrs did it all in a weekend.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
9/4/18 7:24 p.m.
dculberson said:

I've always heard that it's a good idea to keep mulch away from the house to discourage termites. Rocks are the typical recommendation there. I've also seen first hand what too much mulch in contact with the house does to wood siding and it wasn't pretty - lots of rot.

We don't have termites in Minnesota, so fortunately that's not an issue.  I have rock around my house and it's held up pretty well for years, but over time enough dirt will accumulate in it so that weeds will sprout.

drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
9/4/18 8:26 p.m.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I was and still am somewhat interested in recycled tires turned into landscape material for this. However I’m not sure how the rubber smell, especially in the summer heat, can be avoided. For this reason I can see (or rather smell lol) not using it.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
9/4/18 8:51 p.m.
stuart in mn said:
dculberson said:

I've always heard that it's a good idea to keep mulch away from the house to discourage termites. Rocks are the typical recommendation there. I've also seen first hand what too much mulch in contact with the house does to wood siding and it wasn't pretty - lots of rot.

We don't have termites in Minnesota, so fortunately that's not an issue.  I have rock around my house and it's held up pretty well for years, but over time enough dirt will accumulate in it so that weeds will sprout.

Today I Learned!

I looked it up and it seems there are some termites in the southern half of the state, but the incidents are still pretty low. I guess that's one big upside to your frozen tundra winters.

Our Preferred Partners
HJYPnpcX3zodYqrnivnqMuUkphVizBkG7mfuMjEQhAtDQZUl2996jbgZa8i3TTD5