The primary culprit is actually grass. Grass killer isn't an option because there are fruit trees involved.

My understanding is that a couple of inches of rock will stop them. My wife disagrees. Who is right? Or does it need to be thicker?

(We currently have about 1" of rock the builder put down and it's clearly not enough.)

  • What type of grass? – RSMoser Mar 18 '11 at 20:10
  • I have no idea what kind. I would like to stop all the stray vegetation, though, it's just the grass is by far the biggest pest. – Loren Pechtel Mar 18 '11 at 22:00

It might be a bit late, as the rock's already down ... but the easy method would've been to put down a layer of landscape fabric before you put down the inch of rock.

I have no idea how much rock would stop grass ... I'd think there'd be other factors in play (eg, what size of rock, amount of void space, how good the soil is underneath, etc.)

If you don't have much grass nearby, and you didn't do this in an attempt to kill off an existing lawn, the seeds likely came in with the fill soil; if you pull the grass as it comes up (before it goes to seed), you should be able to kill it off

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  • We weren't given a choice on the initial rock. The seeds either blow in or reseed from previous years. (This has been an ongoing problem we've decided to try to fix.) – Loren Pechtel Mar 18 '11 at 4:30
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    I have done this but the ground cloth is A MUST, otherwise the grass will grow through. The cloth prevents the roots of anything that grows anyway(divine intervention) from finding purchase and can be pulled out with a pinkie, backwards and blind folded. – allindal Mar 19 '11 at 4:30
  • Followup: Pulling the grass was never very effective. After a few seasons with a weed flamer, though, there's very little grass and what there is is probably seeding from stuff that grows where I can't burn it. After the grass is dead I go back over it and burn it to ash--and the seeds die. A second benefit is that my allergies are happy with this approach. – Loren Pechtel Mar 1 '18 at 3:59
  • @LorenPechtel : fire tells many seeds to start growing. (So the grass seeds buried in the dirt come up after fires). It might not be the best way to deal with your problem – Joe Mar 1 '18 at 14:48
  • Note that was marked "Followup". It is working. – Loren Pechtel Mar 2 '18 at 2:11

I would try to pull as much grass as you can, then put down Preen. They have an organic, garden-safe version that I believe is just corn gluten meal.

I think a couple of inches of rock will thin out the grass, but I doubt it will actually stop it.

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