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Gulf Coast Gardening: Build a Path: Getting Rid of Grass

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Learn to make new paths by letting mother nature do the work.

Gulf Coast-Cynthia Glover
mulch pile

For Florida gardeners a temperate winter means getting a head start on spring projects. Lower humidity and cool temperatures charge the atmosphere with inspiration to haul around wheelbarrows of dirt and mulch. So I'm out in the garden with new projects.

mulch in yard

The tree company that cut down some limbs for us in December piled the shredded mulch they made from them onto my driveway. That mountain of goodness coupled with great weather served as motivation to begin a spring project early. On the south edge of my yard, where grass remained beyond the planting beds (about 10 feet at the widest area and 3 feet at the narrowest), I'm laying a new pathway.

mulch layers

Here's the best way I've found to eliminate grass for adding more pathways in my garden:

1. Lay down several layers of newspaper, brown paper bags, cardboard, or a roll of Lowe's contractor's paper on top of the lawn. Use a material that will break down into the earth as it decomposes.

2. Wet down those layers. I find it manageable to work in sections completing 6 or 8 feet at a time. Overlap the layers for best coverage.

3. Pile a thickness of at least 3 to 4 inches of a natural organic, such as mulch, leaves or pine straw, on top of the newspaper layers.

With minimal effort exerted, the grass underneath will gradually die, and at the same time a new pathway will be created.

As winter passes and spring approaches, I'll be adding a border of plants to better delineate the property line between my path and my neighbor's yard. I'm pretty excited about getting a jump on spring.

Do you try to take advantage of the best weather for big projects? What kind of exciting plans do you have for your garden this spring?