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I have a large sloping back garden with mature apple trees on, the slope has mixed patchy grass and weed on it which I intent to cover with wood chippings.

Should I use weedkiller first and then a barrier textile before laying the woodchip?

Can anyone recommend a weed killer that will not harm the apple trees?

thanks Dave


I'm a novice gardener. I put a load of mambrane down with conifer chippings on top about 18 months ago. Now I have extensive weed growth in the chippings. They are easy to pull out, but it's a pain. In places where the chippings got moved aside, the membrane disintegrated in the sun.

Others will be able to offer better advice but I can say that some membranes are better than others, we need to find a sun resistant one. Also (our garden is steeply sloping too), the chippings may just slide into a heap at the bottom of the slope.

I'd be very interested to hear what others have to say as I need to do something with a large patch of steeply sloping ground, and was just wondering about planting fruit trees and giving the ground under them the odd strim to deter (currently prolific) weeds. How do you encourage grass rather than weeds? Would membrane/woodchip be better. I've been using a lot of glyphosate to get the area under control, but maybe that would damage trees.

sometimes if you have a look at the weeds on membrane they started on the surface, although some cheap membranes are rubbish the others do work pretty well, lots of seed blow onto the chips it happens to everybody the trick is little and often dont make it a chore, and buy good membrane we bought a really good heavy one but we still get top weeds that just pull out very easily
good luck Alan

Hmmmm, we have a lot of area under membrane and chippings (i.e. a lot of weeds). They are just on the surface, but it's a lot of work. Maybe weedkiller, then encouraging grass would be better.

David, what type of woodchips are you planning to use? Home chipped stuff, or purchased in a garden centre? We had a load of leylandii drastically trimmed and used that. Maybe bought stuff would be better, but I don't knwo what the difference is.

thank for the replies, the grass just grew itself so I guesse wind blow, I did strim it but its hard work as its such a large area (110ft x 80ft). I can get the woodchip from a friend who cuts trees so dont know what type it will be. 

Maybe a couple of goats is the solution lol.



Goats? The people who used to own this house had two sheep to keep the grass down. Really! I think I'd rather work onthe weeds mysef than worry about what sheep are getting up to.

Currently we only have wild deer visitors who seem more interested in my roses (bad) and bindweed (excellent).

cheers Blueboots made me smile about the deer..... maybe no goats.... wonder if the sheep were called mint & sauce?


I had some mebrane from a large DIY multiple and it did disintegrate within a year. quality seem to vary a lot - my friend swears by Groundforce Gardening for his weed control fabric, they do the pegs as well

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