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Cornwall, United Kingdom Gb

How should I tackle what was supposed to be a 'low maintenance' garden? I have pebbles over a fabric type material but obviously new soil has accumulated on top and plants/weeds/grass have re-grown. Should I continue trying to weed, start over or does anyone have any other ideas?




You need at least 2-3 inches deep of stones to be in with a chance of weed seeds being discouraged. Probably your best bet now would be to spray with a general weedkiller (avoiding the plants you want) to get the last growth spurt of the year, top up the stones once things have died back and then spray again in spring as anything comes through.

To be low maintenance you need to stop the weed seeds reaching the soil (depth of stones) and cutting out the light from the soil to stop weeds in the soil from having the strength to grow.

22 Sep, 2014


I think membrane and pebbles are more work in the long run if you want it to stay looking nice. Better I think to stay with plain soil and use a dense covering of ground cover plants, but its a bit late for that now unless you do indeed want to start over.

Are you sure that is grass? My grass never grows in neat little clumps like that.

22 Sep, 2014


Many thanks Urbanite and Snoopdog for your comments. Urbanite that would make sense as the pebbles are quite thinly scattered so looks like I need some weedkiller and some more pebbles - trip to the garden centre required! Thanks again.

22 Sep, 2014


I have to say Steragram that it does feel like pebbles are more trouble as I feel I have been weeding a football pitch! I'm not however, keen to start again...I'm no gardener and inherited the problem. I think I'll give Urbanite's suggestion a go and see what happens.

It certainly looks like grass - pulling them out shows an interesting root system; I'll pop a picture on.

22 Sep, 2014


I assumed that the big lush green clumps were an ornamental grass (a carex, perhaps) - rather than just grass.

22 Sep, 2014


I suspect they're meadow or couch grass rather than anything more interesting. You might just be able to pull the clumps up if they're not couch, but usually, the roots go through the membrane. Even if you use weedkiller, you will still have unattractive dead brown clumps of grass, so I'd be inclined to bite the bullet and remove the grass properly, even if that means raking off the stones, peeling back the membrane and digging the clumps out. If the membrane is still useable, replace it and the existing stones, and top up the amount to make it one to two inches deep.

22 Sep, 2014


So no easy option unfortunately. Perhaps you could learn to
like gardening to some degree? Masses of help on this site and we would all be cheering you on!

22 Sep, 2014


Many thanks for all your comments. I thought this would be a good site to join and get help and it appears I was right.

I don't mind gardening, just never had to do it before. Time seems to disappear rather quickly, I very often find 10 mins turns into an hour without realising!

I've posted a picture of my pampas grass, although lovely it is rather big so will have questions later on how to tackle, but for now the pebbles!

23 Sep, 2014


Pampas grass - ignore it till March, unless you don't like the look of the any battered plumes in the winter, when you can cut those out. I like to leave them whatever their appearance, I used to notice birds pinching bits of feathery plume in spring to line their nests with...

In March, go out armed with a pair of loppers, some sharp shears, a rake (hand rake is great, ordinary one otherwise) something covering your arms, thick gloves and preferably safety glasses too. Clip out the plumes at the base of their stems, as low as you can get into the centre of the plant, with the loppers. Use the shears to cut off absolutely all the leaves, right back to the central 'stump', so you end up with a stumpy looking object with no leaves. Now use the rake and scrape out from inside the top, where you clipped back the plumes, any loose material. And that's it, well, apart from clearing up the mess, for which you will definitely need the gloves - the leaves are unpleasantly sharp and raspy to handle.

23 Sep, 2014


id start again and with help on hear you will learn to love gardening . if not slab it .

23 Sep, 2014

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