September 20, 2016

Leslieville summer garden weeding

Pea gravel mulch + landscape fabric = likely future garden maintenance


It looks good on paper and relatively easy on the wallet: cover your small city garden with black landscaping fabric and pea gravel to minimize weeding and have a polished "clean" look. And maybe for a year or two that would be the case but inevitably more than a few weeds will pop up and through the fabric (or simply on top of the stone). Hand weeding will be chore in trying to dig out the root ball after getting past the gravel and fabric. (Of course, spraying a herbicide can be an option.) Multiply this several dozen times and you can see how frustrating things are getting. And wasn't reducing maintenance (weeding) the main purpose of laying down the fabric and gravel in the first place?

Here's proof that the "landscaping fabric and stone (river rock, drainage stone, pea gravel, etc.)" combination often fails to reduce ongoing maintenance, especially in a city garden surrounded by trees and windborne weed seeds.

This front city garden in east-end Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood isn't overly elaborate: some yews, lavender and Potentilla (cinquefoil) shrubs in full sun until mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, there's a lot of foot traffic so the cinquefoils are particularly effective in trapping all sorts of garbage like coffee cups, junk mail, etc.

And don't forget about the weeds!  I discarded weeds like Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus), Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and dandelions and discovered many of them grew under the fabric and emerged where they found light.

My guess is that the previous homeowners wanted a cheap way of improving the house's curb appeal during the sales process by laying down the fabric and pea gravel and planting a few shrubs and perennials. Of course, they aren't around to deal with the constant weeding that ensued.



Leslieville summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville summer garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden cleanup after 




Leslieville summer garden cleanup before by Toronto Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville summer garden cleanup after by Toronto Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville summer garden cleanup after



Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup




Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup 




Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening ServicesLeslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup after


There's a lot of truth in the old saying that the best mulch are other plants.

I suppose the cleanup could had been more tedious. Can you imagine if the front was covered with larger 6" river rock like this?


Image result for river rock
Source: http://www.sandeessoilandrock.com/portfolio-item/6-river-rock/



Literally and figuratively, a Sisyphean task....