Overgrown weed patch river Rock bed


Hello Toronto Master Gardeners Volunteers. Thank you for taking the time to help. I’m not even sure if this is the right place to ask but I’m reaching out anyway. :)

We share a common area with our neighbors who has raspberry plants all along the side of their house. Last year I was tired of their shoots coming up my patch so I’ve dug a trench and placed a vertical blocker. We were also first time owners five years ago. Got super excited and without doing research, we’ve dug out the grass at the side of the house and replaced it with river rocks. It’s a totally wrong idea as it has overgrown with weeds. Now looking very sad and unappealing. Thr landscape fabric also is ripped and embedded in the soil.

We live across the park, which has also taken over by weeds. So I’ve been battling picking weeds but it has gotten quite out of control.

My plan was to rake out the rocks (back pain screeming) and then start again with three layers. the remaining fabric weed barrier we had has base. Then put on top a layer of the heavy duty woven weed barrier (link below) And lastly a debris mesh then the rock. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to just pull the debris mesh and the rocks will come along if i need to remove it in the future. Do you even think this will work? Also saw online that cornmeal can be sprinkled on top of rocks to stop weed from growing top down.



I’ve placed tarp covering it for a while and Most of the weeds seem to have died off except for a batch. Do you think it’ll still be a good idea to put weed barrier and try again or should I try not to fight it and go with it and use the space for gardening? It’s a shady side of the house so I was thinking of using hostas which I have quite a few plants of.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. Weeds are a fact of life in every type of landscape.  Your approach to reinstall the stones sounds like a good one.  It is suggested that you keep the plastic in place for six weeks to ensure all the weeds are killed.  Also you might put a half inch layer of sand on the landscaping material to keep it in place. Once you reinstall the stones you will find that eventually dust and dirt will find their way between the stones and weeds will follow. Therefore it is important to keep on top of the weeds by removing them as soon as they appear.  The following websites provide strategies for controlling the weeds:



Good luck with reinstalling your river rock bed.