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Seasonal observations of the Master Gardeners
by William Reed
on February 12, 2019 at 1:38 PM
The wood chips may work depending on the weed species. Probably fail on Bermuda grass and it is failing on burr clover at our house. We had a fire here, first year ok, second year not very good. Chips are about 3 inches deep. Good luck!  
by Libbey McKendry
on February 12, 2019 at 5:43 PM
Hi Trisha I drove by your house today and your front garden looks great.  
A few years ago when I redesigned my front yard, I sheet mulched all the planting areas. I was fortunate to have a good source of cardboard and I had a truck load of mulch delivered to weigh the cardboard down. One secret is to make sure the cardboard is overlapped so no light gets trough to allow weeds to grow. it has worked really well. The plants are happy and there are very few weeds!
by Steven Goetz
on February 16, 2019 at 10:58 AM
I sheet-mulched my front yard two years ago. The lawn had some bermuda and oxalis. I removed sod next to the paved areas so mulch would not spill onto paved areas. Laid the removed sod upside-down in center of lawn to create a mound. Laid two layers of builders paper (from Home Depot) on top of former lawn with 8" overlap. Installed drip lines on top of builders paper. Soaked builders paper with water and laid 5-6" mulch (wood chips). Installed one-gallon plants in the mulch on top of the builders paper. This was all done in April. I have had maybe a handful of weeds in 2 years. Plants become established as builders paper decomposes.
by Donna Seslar
on February 21, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Good article, Trisha, and interesting comments! We have had incredible weeds the past 2 years. For years, have just mulched with organic compost from Napa Landfill, and that seemed to work fine. But lately we have had this horrible grassy weed take over everything. I think that seeds blow over from vacant lot next door. Were talking about using wood chips, but sounds like sheet mulch may be better idea.
by Stacey McNeill
on February 23, 2019 at 11:19 AM
This sounds like a great solution for a couple patches of weeds I need to deal with. And I guess with the wood chips on top of the cardboard it would look decent during the process. Just a few questions though...Do you have specific sources (Tree removal firms) you can recommend for the wood chips? So do you just leave it all in place and let it decompose, or do you at some point remove the cardboard? How long does it usually take for the weeds to die off?
by Trisha Rose
on March 6, 2019 at 10:12 AM
Thanks for all your comments. Remember the point is to block light so overlapping your cardboard will help. Within a year the cardboard and initial mulch chips will begin to decompose. So if this solution will be permanent you will need to top it with additional mulch from time to time. Good luck.
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