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Butterfly Flower Garden AND Weed Problem?

In the Spring I’m going to plant a seed mixture of Alcea rosea, Asclepias tuberose, Aster novae-angliae, Clarkia amoena, Cosmos bipinnatus, Delphinium consolida, Digitalis purpurea, Echinacea purpurea, lavatera trimestris, Malope trifida, Mirabilis jalapa, Monarda citriodora, Nicotiana affinis, Petalostemum purpureum, Phlox drummondii, Salvia coccinea, Trifolium incarnatum, Tropaeolum majus and Zinnia elegans.

Last Spring/Summer we had a huge weed problem we would spray weed killer and rip out weeds but they would keep coming back. We finally put down Weed Defense Fabric that lets air, water and nutrients through, not weeds. Then put mulch on top to hold down the fabric. I would like to start a butterfly garden and I’m worried if I cut the fabric that the weeds will grow through the openings. If I plant a butterfly garden I can’t use a weed killer as it will harm the butterflys. Can anyone help?
I live in Connecticut and the weeds I have aren’t dandelions. I have no idea what they are called they grow into this stalk (bamboo ish) with large green leaves. They do not die with weed killer you have to pull as many out by the roots as possible.

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Comments

5 Responses to “Butterfly Flower Garden AND Weed Problem?”

  1. pondlady

    Mulch mulch mulch. At least 3″ if not 4″. And keep weeding. Weeds will only grow if you allow them to.

  2. L B

    I gather you want a nice pleasant low maintanance garden, that attracts butterflies. I have to say that most weed suppresents’s are ineffective, I’ve been in the horticultural business for 20 years, and my family a lot longer. If you cut the fabric weeds suppresent, boy are you inviting trouble. You don’t say which area you’re from, this would help all on web to give advice.
    As to to the seed mixture , I’d be a little wary of Digitais purpurea, I presume you know foxgloves are poisionous, especially where children are concerned?

  3. kaz

    I am assuming you are going to propagate your seeds into plants first?? because you wont be able to cut lots of holes in the fabric to sow them, as that will defeat the object of the weed fabric.
    If you cut a cross in the fabric, then plant your plant in the hole and fold the 4 corners back in, this should stop any annual weed seeds from blowing in.But unfortunately there may already be annual seeds in the soil from previous years (the old saying goes-one years seeds are 10 years weeds) and these weeds may find there way through the slits.If you have perennial weeds in there they may also find their way up if close to a slit.You will just have to pull or dig these out by hand.
    If you want butterflies, you will get lots if you plant a buddleia shrub.Most grow into huge shrubs which will withstand hard pruning, but there are dwarf varieties. Lavender and thyme do the trick also.
    Good luck with the butterflies.

  4. meowqueen1953

    You can use the fabric, and put mulch on top of it. I prefer to use newspaper instead of the fabric, because the newspaper will breakdown and It helps the soil.

  5. RunningBear

    Use plants, not seeds, even if it means growing them all in pots first. The more developed they are the better they will stand up to the weed competition! A seed doesn’t stand a chance and a bulb isn’t much better.
    I wouldn’t worry too much if you use plants. You’d only be cutting small holes to put them in and you can push the fabric and mulch back around them. A few weeds probably will get through but the fabric will still suppress most of them and you’ll only have to weed just around your plants.

    Good luck!

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