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Clearing weeds/plants on stones

Could anyone on here offer advice on clearing an overgrown front garden on stones.

The customer doesn't wish to use any weed killer on the area 

Just wondering what is the best way to go about it


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  • hi, remove as much as possible at least of the larger more shrubby plants by hand then cover the area with black sheeting, well pegged down, for a few months

    • What a mess!   Only downside of black sheeting is that is will will look pretty hideous for months..... particularly a front garden.  I'd try and encourage her to use roundup and point out to her that it won't damage the soil. Unfortunately, the roundup will be very slow to act this time of year.  I'd normally spray it.... wait till the weeds look sick and then VERY carefully strim down, at a slow speed,  to just above ground level.... then a blower to clear up the dead weeds from the surface.  If she's in a hurry, strim it down now.......... you could even hoe through it....... and treat the regrowth in the Spring.  You could even try one of those strimming heads with the rotating twin blade which shouldn't send the stones flying.   Whatever happens, she really does need to use some weedkiller at some point unless she wants to spend a lot of money digging them all out. 

  • PRO

    Thanks for the ideas guys, much appreciated 

    Yes it is a mess not sure they would go with the black sheeting method so it might be a case of shoveling and hoeing the weeds and grass out and the applying weed killer in spring

    Going to be hard work with that method and unsure if it will produce a good end result 

    • yes the black sheeting would be dreadfully unsightly, best to threaten them with that option if they need persuasion to go down the weed killer route. As it would be the only other method that doesn't disturb the pebbles too much, which I am assuming they wanted to keep. There are what look like japanese anemones to the right which can be incredibly persistent and a nightmare to dig out

      • PRO

        Yes I think they are Japanese anemones 

  • I dont think there is any magic answer and reckon there's a bit of old fasioned graft required, working through by hand.  One of those jobs none of us fancy, but I'm wondering if there is a membrane under the shingle. If so, most of the weeds may pull out fairly easily.

    Agree with trying to persuade the customer to allow an application of Roundup as a starter.

    • PRO

      Yes I did notice some membrane showing up towards the house but couldn't see any near the path

  • PRO

    If you have a Stihl kombi engine the RG-KM attachment is very good in gravel then rake debris off the top, it cuts the weeds through the gravel not throwing it everywhere.


    • PRO

      Good point Dave I have thought of this but unfortunately don't own the attachment 

  • PRO

    Have you discussed costs with the client, yet? I usually make a point of saying "well hand weeding is a very labourious job, which is reflected in the price, which is £xxx, or we can treat with Roundup at a reduced cost of £xx, but the choice is tottally yours".  Unless they want the "Ground force" treatment and are willing to pay for it, they tend to go with the Roundup option, not that I push chemicals as a first option, I'm more than happy to hand weed, but I like to explain the options to my clients, along with the pros and cons of each. My appologies in advance if I'm teaching you to suck eggs., 

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