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Weed Membrane

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How do I care for my plants when they are sticking out from weed membrane? I cannot loosen the soils around them, nor do I feel that I can feed them properly. The garden I have inherited is MOSTLY covered in this (except where it has broken away). They seem to have put bark on top of the membrane. If this is the cporrect procedure what is the best bark to use. The garden is mostly shrub, grasses and tress, but there are a few flowers and I'd like to grow more.

Although this membrane is an anathema to me the garden is .5 of an acre, so in a way it's a godsend. I'm used to conventional gardening and getting my hands in the earth, but my garden was very much smaller!

Please help!!!

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Hi Kitty. I partly agree about the membrane, as it was laid in my garden in some areas. To feed your plants is no problem, because you can use a liquid feed diluted in a watering can. Fine bark chippings can be easily bought from a Garden Centre. Planting new plants is indeed a bit difficult. You have to rake back the bark chippings and cut a hole in the membrane. I find this hard, but manage with a stanley knife. I have started to remove some of the membrane, cutting it away in pieces, as I find it a nuisance but it does have the big advantage of keeping the weeds down, so I am leaving it where shrubs are happily growing through it.

14 Aug, 2008


I do the same as Spritz. We have some of this. We have covered with bark chippings in some places and in others shingle. Liqids pass through so feeding is not a problem. In our case it helps to retain moisture which is a problem for us, so this is good. The downside is that a lot of weed seeds arrive and grow on top, and also it's more awkward for planting (I cut with scissors). In other parts of my garden I find mulching with bark is almost as effective at discouraging weeds without using the membrane. These membranes are supposed to have a life of about 5 years so it will not be there for ever.

14 Aug, 2008


You are joking, Chris! We've been here four years now and the membrane must have been put down a considerable number of years previously, looking at the size of the plants! It is as tough as old boots!

14 Aug, 2008


Maybe ours is a lighter type. I think the packet said 5 years. It was made in Germany. In the hot spots in our garden we have noticed it now cuts very easily like it's on the way out already after 3 years.

14 Aug, 2008


Wish ours was! It is SOOO difficult to cut!

14 Aug, 2008


I think there are different (qualities?) of this stuff. The Dept of Transportation here uses a type that is light weight and is supposed to break down with light exposure, lasts about 1 year. Some people buy the thick black stuff that is made to last 15-25 years to place under stones and gravel when they want NOTHING to grow ever. I think there are others also available.

15 Aug, 2008

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