You probably designed a rock garden in part to avoid maintaining plants, including watering and weeding. But there a plant is, annoyingly making the rocky conditions work. How do you get rid of this weed and make sure that nothing else like it can grow? We have some tips to help you prevent weeds in your rock garden and kill any that are already growing there.
Before You Put in the Rock Garden
There are some kinds of weed prevention that are much easier to implement before you have installed the rock garden. If you’re planning ahead, or you’re willing to take up all of the rocks, you can try these steps:
- Landscape fabric: Laying down landscape fabric can prevent the seeds beneath the rocks from growing by blocking them from sunlight.
- Chemical treatments: You can spray your area with a preemergent herbicide that is approved for residential use in your area before laying down the rocks.
- Fire: For those who don’t want to use chemicals, but will be cautious with an open flame, you can kill seeds in the soil by applying an open flame. Ensure there is no flammable material, like living plants, when you start.
When you’re choosing your rocks for the garden, be sure that they are free of dirt and very clean. Otherwise, the bits of soil and other organic matter may contribute to weed growth down the road.
Assessing Your Weeds
So already started your rock garden but there are weeds growing in it anyway. How did this happen? It’s actually an important question to answer so that you know what solution to try. Take a look at the weed you have and ask yourself if it is rooted in the ground or the rock. If it is in the ground, then you probably don’t have a thick enough layer of rocks to repel some weeds. You can handpick the weeds out and then add in a layer of rocks.
If the weeds have not rooted in the soil but are on the rock or in material that has gathered between the rock then you may need some more aggressive forms of weed control. Options include:
- Home solutions: If you’re not happy with using a chemical spray, there are solutions you can make from home ingredients to attempt to kill the weeds. The great thing about having a rock garden is that you likely don’t need to worry about being too precise with these home treatments, as there aren’t any plants in the area that you want to keep. Pour boiling water, or vinegar and dish soap solution on the plant to kill it.
- Pesticides: Sometimes weeds do call for pesticides. Your local landscaping supply should offer pesticides that are approved for use in your area.
Even though rock gardens are low maintenance, you may have a stubborn weed species nearby that will continue to try to grow there. Professional landscaping services can keep the weeds at bay with targeted treatments designed specifically for the weeds that you are dealing with.