I have a little yard. Its a small 40 sq metre triangular yard with 2 fruit trees and 2 flowering trees. A little picture is in the background of the picture I posted in another question Do eaten leaves on a guava tree mean the tree needs help?

I am unable to tend to pulling the weeds out. So this time around, I did it one last time and un-wantingly I have sprayed glyphosate to kill the weeds. I have a weed mat ready and now I am trying to know how I can prevent weeds from growing. To cover the weed mat, I thought I'd get some mulch and spread it around. But I live in a very humid place and mulch will attract cockroaches. Gravel is too expensive. Hay will attract rodents/rats.Any ideas on what can be put on the weed mat ?

How can I prevent weeds and (gamba?)grass from growing in my yard ?

  • Don't use 'weed mats'...or any plastic sheeting on the surface of the soil for weeds. Guava is telling me you live in the tropics? Cockroaches LOVE 'weed' fabric very much. Glyphosate, did it work at all for you?
    – stormy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 6:45
  • Yes. Extreme tropics (usual (relative?) humidity is 90%) Glyphosate works. I don't want to use it especially with kids around as I heard some water cooler chat that its known to be a carcinogenic. I am not taking any risk. I have weed mat under some astro turf else where, and it has been fine. Commented May 2, 2018 at 11:23
  • It isn't carcinogenic...unless you drink it or eat it (GMO crops). Glyphosate actually is eaten by the soil bacteria, go figure! As soon as it is sprayed on a plant the composition changes. It will only damage herbaceous plants by translocation to the roots to kill the root part of the plant. That is why it takes up to 3 or 4 weeks to see dead plants. Isn't astro turf a 'weed mat' all by itself? You just gave me an idea...I've used it in commercial landscape maintenance a few times for graveled areas. It needs to be sprayed on vigorously growing weeds. Or use rubber gloves...
    – stormy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 21:07
  • ...spray on the fingers, wetting slightly and simply wet a blade or two of the weed. That will do the job. It dries and there is no worry at all for your kids or pets. They have inserted glyphosate into the genome of...corn for one plant. This makes the corn resistant to glyphosate when sprayed on the crop so only the weeds are killed. Lovely to know, huh? Kids in America eat lots and lots of corn products...isn't that lovely. You could also PAY or entice your kids to PULL weeds. I got this going in my neighborhood and almost went broke. Grins!
    – stormy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 21:12
  • Cockroaches love plastic sheeting or 'weed mats'. It is like a snuggly tent. Get rid of weed mats...except the astro turf is fine. As you walk across the astro turf you should hear lots of Krack Snapple and Pops! Cockroaches, ugh. I lived as a kid in Hawaii. I have to tell you weeds are the lowest of all my priorities in the landscape. If one leaves an area alone for a month, where you live, you will have major weeds. Our winters kill off most weeds. I smother the rest with soil, or bend over and pull once in awhile. Tropics are a bit different...preemergent herbicides I would avoid.
    – stormy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


I think you are overgeneralizing.

Try with mulch or hay. Observe and adapt. They could bring insects or rodents, but it is not the rule, if you check and control your yard regularly: For both: do not put too much. Move them from time to time. Check from where they come, what they eat, try to do countermeasures. Often you will find quickly the right formula for your yard.

More labour intensive: move regularly your soil (this is done in particular in dry places, where weeds will "steal" water, so not really in your case, but it could work). Or try to have a non weed layer (lawn or other rampant plants), so that they make live more difficult for weeds.

If you want to destroy the vegetation, chicken are a solution (but they also attract rodents).

Look at the yards of other people on your borough, someone has found some other creative solutions.

  • I cannot afford to try if I am going to attract cockroaches. In this weather, they really multiply. Neighbors have Buffalo Lawn Runners, some have a lawn. Some have concrete. I don't want the hassle of mowing this little yard. So, none of these are an option for me. Commented May 1, 2018 at 10:57
  • That 'weed' fabric is made to be used beneath gravel (4" crushed 3/8 minus in inches). Not for weeds but so that you don't lose your gravel to the soil. Gravel is wonderful.
    – stormy
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 6:48

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