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Thread: weed-free path suggestions

  1. #1
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    Default weed-free path suggestions

    hello!

    Currently my paths on the plot are woodchip over plastic (some parts sheet, some parts old compost bags).

    I would prefer to remove plastic from the site, so I'm wondering about alternatives.

    The problem is weeds. The plot is riddled with marestail, bindweed and couchgrass.
    The other problem is lack of time, both to weed and simply to keep the paths clear by use.

    The paths play a crucial part in keeping weeds down, both by being "firebreaks" and by not being a weed repository in themselves.

    What other ways could I do paths that won't end up being a playground for weeds?

    Incidentally, on a facebook group, there was a collective in-take of breath when I suggested (for ground cover purposes) covering plastic with woodchip as apparently it makes if difficult to remove. I have never found this, rather the opposite that it keeps the plastic in better conditions. Anyone else got views on this?

  2. #2
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    Its partly a time/effort/resources problem where only you will know what you can get and be prepared to do eg a layer of weed suppressing fabric first followed by sand and then old bricks on top makes a good path but obviously too expensive if you have to buy in materials. Round here in the old days all the houses had coal fires, so cinder paths where ash and un-burnt stuff from the grates were chucked out and spread were almost universal.
    Snadger likes this.

  3. #3
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    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    Mine are the same as yours, Mike (split fertiliser bags with woodchip on top), and I don't find any issues with the degradation of the plastic - as it's not exposed to sunlight, i think it remains stable. When new woodchip becomes available I shovel the old stuff off and throw on the beds or in the compost heap and lay the new stuff down. I think it's better than dedicated weed fabric, that stuff IS hell to get up once the weeds have found a way through it. You could look on your local giveaway sites for concrete slabs if you have the time and energy to pick them up and lay them?
    Last edited by bario1; 19-09-2019 at 10:13 AM.
    He-Pep!

  4. #4
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    Default

    Thanks Nick

    I was musing about cinder paths, but I'd need to get the cinders from somewhere. Also, the level of sulphur, tars etc from coal burning make me wonder if it's any better.

    Bricks and sand would be great, but as you say, getting them would be an issue, and I'd still be where I am with the layer of plastic - which is the bit I'd like to get rid of.

    I suspect that there isn't a better answer, but unless I ask, I won't know, so please don't think I am knocking your suggestions, and thank you for your time to help.

    Has anyone put turf down over ground containing marestail etc? did it keep it down?

  5. #5
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    veggiechicken is offline Warning, May contain nuts
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    Nothing keep marestail down!
    I had the drive block paved 15 years ago over some grass that had marestail in it. Its pushed its way up through all the joints.
    If you turf it, you'll have to mow it.
    A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
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  6. #6
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    Thanks all

    Bario - that is exactly what I do (if I'm copying a mod, it must be right... ). I need to do another digging session as I'm needing more compost for the last few raised beds.

    Veggie - I feared as much about marestail. It's a bvgger isn't it? has it always been here or is it a recent thing?

  7. #7
    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikermike View Post
    if I'm copying a mod, it must be right...
    Haha that's definitely untrue - modship isn't necessarily a reflection of gardening know-how!
    Stan79 likes this.
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  8. #8
    Logunner is offline Rooter
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    Default

    Kill the mares tail then use several layers of cardboard under the woodchip

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