More rock or more plastic?

Asked August 16, 2018, 12:58 AM EDT

I live in a townhouse that has a 3 foot border around the building that has black landscaping plastic covered by gray rock (the size is about 2-3"). It was planted around 10-15 years ago. There are bushes that were planted through the plastic. The problem- most of the bushes are dead and lots of invasive bush species have invaded. Also there are numerous thistle plants that have come up in the edges and by the bushes. What do you suggest? Should I just get more rock and make the layer thicker? Should I pull out the rock, put more black plastic down them put the rock down (though the plastic hasn't worked well)? Suggestions would be helpful!

Winona County Minnesota

1 Response

Although it is labor intensive, the best option would be to remove the rock (set it aside somewhere) and pull up the black plastic. That is not used any more. Clean up the dead and unwanted plants. Plant your new shrubs. If you still intend to use rock mulch (probably decreed by the committee) put down landscape fabric. Cut generous holes in the fabric so it can be put around the shrubs. Landscape fabric will allow air and water to penetrate but prevent the rocks from migrating down in to your soil. Finally replace your rocks.