Author Topic: Underground weed barrier  (Read 3541 times)

Mrs Pingu

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Underground weed barrier
« on: 14 May, 2023, 01:44:05 pm »
My neighbours (at least 3 of them) have ground elder, so our course, so do we. One of them is at least trying by laying down tarp up to our fence, but at the edge it's just growing underneath and popping up on our side. The other 2 neighbours don't seem to be doing anything about it.
I'd like to try to get this under control before it gets too bad but I don't want to use weedkiller and if it's not under control their side I'm wasting my time.

So what I'm proposing, because it has relatively shallow roots, is to dig (ha) a slit all the way along the boundary and insert a physical barrier in the soil.

Question, will heavy duty landscape fabric which is water permeable, like this  be sufficient?
https://www.toolstation.com/heavy-duty-landscape-fabric/p45800

Or should I go for something impermeable like heavy duty pvc sheet?
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #1 on: 14 May, 2023, 03:38:26 pm »
I doubt that landscape fabric will work for long, if at all, as weeds can grow in it/through it quite happily. It's designed to work by cutting out light. The stuff that you use for bamboo is probably best but a bit spendy, there may be alternatives (plastic lawn edging?)

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #2 on: 14 May, 2023, 03:48:04 pm »
We garden organically, but…..  neighbourly bindweed, vinka and ground elder are all candidates for Roundup.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #3 on: 14 May, 2023, 05:07:17 pm »
That material (Mypex) is designed to separate gravel, slabs etc from the underlying soil, so they don't just sink in.  It is a woven fabric, so there are gaps between the threads which allow perennial weeds to come through easily. It's claims to be a weed suppressant are over-stated. And unless it is well covered, it shreds.

A non-woven fabric like plantex is better as a weed suppressant. We use it double thickness and covered by gravel for paths. Last time we wanted to get plantex, it was difficult to source. I think we had to order it from Europe. I'm not convinced it will work well as a vertical barrier which I think is what you are considering?

I don't like using herbicides, but it is probably your best option.
Alternatively, accept that you need to leave a gap of a couple of feet inside your fence and keep that weed free.

Disclaimer - we don't have a problem with ground elder, but several decades of fighting Horsetail, and that will come up through tarmac and concrete, so count your blessings!



Mrs Pingu

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Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #4 on: 18 May, 2023, 09:14:08 pm »
Was out weeding the ground elder and it's already knitting itself into the roots of existing plants. What a pain in the arse it is.
If I used Round Up on it, even if I don't spray the plants, if the elder roots are entwined with the plants am I going to kill the plants because their roots are touching what I'm going to spray with weedkiller?
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #5 on: 19 May, 2023, 08:34:40 am »
I don't think you will get root to root transfer.
Not sure if it's still available, but there used to be a Roundup (glyphosate) gel that came in a litte pot with a brush (like copydex). It was fiddly to apply, but did mean it only went on the target plants, and didn't run off.
There were lots of home made recipes mixing roundup with wallpaper paste, but I never tried that!
I have resorted to making holes in old polythene bags, pulling the weed foliage through and spraying it, to avoid drift onto desirable plants.
You probably know not to spray anything in hot, still weather? The stuff evaporates and eddies randomly all over the place.

Different topic:
Have you tried the augers yet?
I want to plant my cowslip plugs (nearly 100) in some very stoney ground, and a hand trowel will be hard work.
I know cowslips will do well there as its a thin layer of soil and grass over an old path of limestone chippings.
A similar area is covered in cowslips - thats where I gathered the seed last year

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #6 on: 19 May, 2023, 11:07:18 am »
I've not tried the augers yet but I need to get some self heal out of the border and into the lawn so hopefully this weekend.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #7 on: 19 May, 2023, 11:15:20 am »
On the hatler plot my mindless task was to dig in 18" square paving slabs orientated on edge down the boundary line to stop the couch grass getting through.

Deeply satisfying but long winded. The sheer drudgery of it (no decisions to make) was a welcome relief from the hurly burly of daily life.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #8 on: 19 May, 2023, 11:23:15 am »
On the hatler plot my mindless task was to dig in 18" square paving slabs orientated on edge down the boundary line to stop the couch grass getting through.

Deeply satisfying but long winded. The sheer drudgery of it (no decisions to make) was a welcome relief from the hurly burly of daily life.


Hahahahahahahahahaha

Good luck with that ;)

(It will help, but there are gaps between slabs)

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #9 on: 19 May, 2023, 06:20:21 pm »
Augers in action
2023-05-19_05-56-12 by The Pingus, on Flickr

Pretty easy really
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #10 on: 20 May, 2023, 08:50:58 am »
Was out weeding the ground elder and it's already knitting itself into the roots of existing plants. What a pain in the arse it is.
If I used Round Up on it, even if I don't spray the plants, if the elder roots are entwined with the plants am I going to kill the plants because their roots are touching what I'm going to spray with weedkiller?

No, no transfer. And the only way if the roots are mingling. There are gel dispensers for Roundup, but v tedious. I use carrier bags to mask/contain leaves that I’m spraying, our garden is VERY full of plants.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Underground weed barrier
« Reply #11 on: 20 May, 2023, 10:16:54 am »
Alright. I need to get my finger out and order some barrier.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.