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removing dirt to allow for 2-3 inches of mulch

I have an area I think is called the parking strip. I'm removing some ground cover. The soil is at the level of the adjacent sidewalk and curb, In order to put mulch in the cleared read (2-3 inches of mulch, just to have the area filed with something, not just dirt) I am removing dirt from that area, a great deal of work! Thinking that maybe a simpler method would be to remove the dirt around the edges so that the mulch doesn't spill over the sidewalk and curb? I'd love to avoid the work required to remove 2 or 3 inches of dirt. Input appreciated, thanks.

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Is there anything growing there now? It would help to identify whether weeds are are annuals or perennials. Some are persistent and will re-grow from roots. Or maybe you have already herbicided...?

I think digging a trench all around the perimeter for deep filling is a good idea. I also think you could get away with NOT removing the dirt from the central portion -- maybe only an inch or so -- then laying down soaked down cardboard (thick flattened corrugated boxes -- you can get them from businesses if you don't have any) and covering with just enough mulch to hide the cardboard and make it look nice. I would mold the edges of the wet cardboard down into the trench/moat to keep weeds from growing and help hold down the cardboard.

I don't recommend weedblock/landscape fabric because they become more of an obstacle down the line. Cardboard will break down, but you can dig or use machinery/power tools as necessary to redo the area as needed.

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