Ways to Manage Weeds in Groundcover Between Pavers
Nobody likes weeds, let alone managing them. They’re pesky, bothersome and let’s face it, they don’t look nice at all. What most people don’t know is that the reason weeds tend to grow is because the area is neglected, giving them a chance to grow. Gaps between stepping stones or between borders are some of the most awkward spaces in the garden, they’re also a notoriously popular area for weeds.
There’s no easy way to banish weeds completely, but there are some tried and tested methods of keeping them at bay.
Control by design
Now if you’re starting from scratch and currently designing your garden, you’re at a huge advantage. You can design your garden so there are limited areas for weeds to pop up. Do this by preparing areas effectively. Lay a barrier down under pavers or between the fence posts. Use weed block instead of plastic; it’s easier to handle and much less likely to puncture.
Construct the stone paver pathways correctly and you may even avoid weeds all together and most definitely, plant some groundcover between the pavers to crowd out weeds.
Choose an appropriate groundcover
While groundcover works to crowd the space so it’s harder for weeds to grow, planting them doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility the weeds completely.
If weeds do appear, handling them can be a big challenge.
The key thing to remember here is when groundcover is thin, more weeds will grow. Try to encourage a thick stand of groundcover. This means watering frequently and replanting when the groundcover thins. Finding the perfect balance can take a few years so be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
As a tip, the groundcover should be dense like a carpet but not so invasive that it looks like the pavers are sinking. The dense groundcover effectively smothers the weeds.
Also, the plants that grow between the pavers need to be tough and durable. Chances are it will have to withstand trampling by humans and animals alike – whether occasional or frequent – and you’d rather it last than have to constantly replant.
The type of plant that is best suited largely depends on the environment it’s going to experience once planted.
Groundcover for full sun areas
- Creeping thyme – this is one of the premium groundcovers. It’s petite and comes in many varieties so chances are you’ll find some version of it to suit your needs. Something to consider with thyme, some variations do bear spikes which can grow tall enough to stub toes and may pose a tripping hazard. Also, the flowers, while pretty, can attract bees so it may not be ideal for a primary pathway or an area right next to an entrance to your home.
- Dymondia – flat and tidy with slender leaves, the plant is green on top and grey underneath and the curl on each leaf creates a lovely colour-variation. Plus, it’s not high maintenance and needs very little watering.
Groundcover for part-sun areas
- Chamomile – the small white daisy-style flowers most definitely evoke meadow scenes which is awfully pretty. But there is a downside. Chamomile requires moderate watering and once the flowers appear, a trim.
- Goldmuss sedum – a dainty succulent, the green leaves and yellow flowers that sprout in the spring are a nice and tidy alternative.
- Jewel mint of Corsica – while also requiring a regular watering, the miniature green leaves almost look like moss. But the best thing is, as you walk along the path, the leaves will release delicious wafts of mint.
- Blue star creeper – flat, green leaves with starry blue flowers, this groundcover is quite tough, despite its delicate appearance.
- Irish moss – requiring virtually no maintenance and resembling moss, this grows quickly with uniform texture.
- Grass – yep, lawn grass is a great alternative for groundcover, especially if pavers are large and placed a good distance apart. However, grass requires watering, fertilising and mowing so it is considered a high-maintenance option.
Groundcover for shady areas
- Baby’s tears – with enough moisture, this one runs perfectly through crevices.
- Sweet woodruff – this one bears larger leaves than the others, with small white flowers. But this does tend to spread so be wary.
- Mondo grass – after a dark green carpet all year round? While slow to grow, once there, it’s an excellent choice.
Other tips and tricks
Of course, it’s not just about what you plant, it’s also about managing the landscape, especially when it comes to weeds. Use mulch where possible as this essentially acts as a suffocating blanket by preventing light from reaching the weeds. Plus, it holds the moisture needed for the plants to thrive.
Also, if you need to pull leaves, water them first. Pulling weeds is much easier when the soil is moist and it’s much more effective as you’re likely to get the whole root system rather than just the surface.
Regardless of how you choose to control them, everyone can agree that weeds are pesky. Get on top of the situation early – remember, prevention is the best form of protection. For more advice on creating your ideal outdoor space, speak to the experts at Armstone today.