One of the best reasons to consider rubber mulch is the fact that it acts as a weed barrier. Every day in our nursery someone comes by frustrated with weeds in their landscape or turf and they are looking for solutions. Everlast will help prevent new weeds from appearing but existing weeds and weed seed do need to be dealt with properly for best results.
There are many forms of weed killer. Weeds that have already sprouted need to be treated with a post-emergent product. Weeds that have yet to sprout need to be handled with pre-emergent weed killer. Chemistry varies between products but Roundup or equivalents seem to be the go to product for many homeowners looking to kill existing weeds; but they are often frustrated by poor results.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient and you can think of it as suntan lotion for green leaves. It prevents the plant from utilizing the sunlight. It is imperative that this type of product be applied when the plant is growing because that when it needs the most energy. Applying weed killer too early in the season will not yield the best results. Persistent tougher weeds may need to be coated more than once and I recommend 7 to 10 days between applications. Some products contain a small percentage of diquat which is my favorite.
Yesterday a young lady came in complaining of dollar weed that seemed to be unaffected by the products she was using. I have had great success using Roundup Quick Pro that contains just under 3% diquat. I re-apply once the dollar weed starts to yellow and have had good luck keeping it under control. When the dollar weed is in my turf I have to be very careful applying the product as it is non selective meaning it will affect nearly all varieties of plants not just the dollar weed. My turf suffers a bit if I am not too careful but the results are worth it to me as the dollar weed gets the worst of it.
A quick note on Everlast and weed control with rubber mulch. Our products stay dry. Weed seed that blows into the beds gets trapped in the rubber which is why we recommend a 2″ depth. All the water runs through the mulch since it never mats like rotten wood mulch. We don’t recommend a weed fabric so organic material is never trapped in the mulch-weed seed won’t find any moisture above grade. It is just that simple.
If weed control is on your wish list this year now is the time to create a plan and reduce your garden maintenance time and cost. Whether you plan to apply a new layer of wood mulch, deal with the weeds growing in your stone beds, or install rubber mulch to prevent weeds in the future, there is an extra step that can pay huge benefits. Flower beds, hardscapes, and rock gardens require some maintenance. Add this extra step every spring and you can reduce your time weeding your landscaping for the entire season.
Pre-emergents help control weed seed pre-season and pre-germination. The concept is simple. Chemically treat the top half inch of soil to stop the existing weed seed from germinating. Exposed beds that lack any form of mulch allow weed seed to blow in and build up on top of the soil. Rock gardens that have a weed fabric underneath have built up a layer of soil and organic matter and the dormant weed seed is simply waiting for the temperature to rise so they can germinate. Treating before they germinate is imperative to controlling the weeds.
There are many types of pre-emergent. The length of time they are effective varies. Treflan (granular) is extremely effective but will lose it’s effectiveness if the area is disturbed prior to mulching. Surflan (liquid) is also extremely effective. Brands don’t matter much as chemistry is everything so shop for the best deal on the active ingredients.
Even though Everlast Rubber Mulch acts as the weed barrier, any weed seed already in the soil should be dealt with prior to rubber mulch installation. The concept is simple. Two inches of Everlast Rubber Mulch will reduce weed growth by 95% due the fact that the rubber top dressing stays dry, traps the airborne weed seed, and dehydrates it. If the seed can’t get to the soil it can not germinate. Weed seed already present in the soil should be dealt with by either using a pre-emergent or applying a post emergent herbicide after you install the rubber mulch. Either way, once you install the rubber mulch and eradicate the existing weed seed you will see a 95% reduction in weed growth. By the way Everlast Rubber Mulch is not discolored by Roundup….not that you will need it for much longer!