Under Deck - Landscape fabric & rocks?

Old 09-27-16, 09:55 PM
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Under Deck - Landscape fabric & rocks?

I'm building a deck in MO that's roughly 20x12. It just occured to me that NOW is the time to do whatever ground work necessary *before* I build the deck.

For the previous deck, nothing was underneath. I did not like that. Stuff grew, and it was a pain to mow and keep clean. It was an eye sore most of the time.

By default, I'm thinking to till it up, put down some landscape fabric, then gravel.

Is there anything in particular I should consider? (other options, type of fabric for long-term use, size of gravel, ground treatment under the fabric)

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Old 09-28-16, 03:17 AM
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How tall is the deck from the ground? Your plan is good, but not foolproof. Grasses may not grow from the ground through the Typar, but soil blown in between the rocks will support plant life and grass can grow on top of it and between the rocks. Much easier to do away with it, since their root system won't establish well. I would use egg rock, which is a little larger than pea gravel.
Old 09-28-16, 06:50 AM
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I'd skip the cloth, weeds will just grow through it and make it harder to pull by the roots.
Till it up, rake out the grass and weeds and treat with total vegatation killer.
Round rocks will not compact or stay in place very well.
Old 09-28-16, 07:07 AM
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I would say it depends on how much light will get under your deck - mine's relatively close to the ground and stuff only grows about 2' of the way under the deck before it's too dark and there's just dirt. Assuming enough light to be a problem, you've gotten good advice.
Old 09-28-16, 09:44 AM
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A tip I remember from my grandpa, too, is to really try to keep the soil healthy before the fabric goes down. Make sure to add a lot of compost or nutrients to the ground underneath where the landscape fabric is going to go to support the soil underneath and keep your yard healthier.
Old 09-28-16, 10:06 AM
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I disagree with that - this is an area where you want nothing to grow so enhancing the soil is the last thing you would want to do.
Old 09-28-16, 10:36 AM
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Not knowing the particulars such as height, generally shady, sunny, etc., I tend to agree with Joe. I definitely will never put down fabric again. Have seen good stuff, cheap stuff, plastic, etc., and, in my opinion, it might work for a year or two, after which it only makes it harder to get the weeds out, because you will get them regardless. Especially if the deck is low enough, or maybe on the north side of the house, I would lean toward Roundup or something similar, followed by a thick bed of mulch, and it's conceivable that you might not have to touch it again for several years. You're right though to be looking at this now, rather than later, so don't overlook the fact that you also want the grade to slope away from the house; this is often overlooked, resulting in ponding under decks.
Old 09-28-16, 12:46 PM
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Personally I'd just spray under the deck with weed killer. I'd only add rocks if the deck was high enough for the rocks to be more visibly appealing. I wouldn't bother with the landscape fabric or any other barrier and rely on weed killer to keep it looking nice.
Old 09-28-16, 01:03 PM
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Ok, so I started on this today after seeing Chandler's post, but am just now seeing the rest.

Current progress:
  • bought rock
  • tilled ground
  • scraped tillings away using box scraper
  • started putting down landscape fabric. Surely this will at least help.

It's the south side of the house. One side of the deck is 2' off the ground and the other side is 5' up. Good point about the roundup. I have some Pramitol on hand that I believe works well on the ground, so I'll use that. (my roundup on hand is QuickPro, which works best on leaf/blade contact).

I called around today and found a place in a town nearby that had a sweet deal on 1/2" brown rock. It's not round rock, but rock with ridges and should stay in place very well.

$10 per ton! I stopped at $18 because the shape of my tires started looking weird.

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Old 10-01-16, 06:39 AM
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My 8x20 deck is in a corner of the house and almost 6' off the ground.

I put down a drain tile on top of heavy plastic and 6" of river rock.

We have a couple of deck boxes under there but nothing grows, it drains, and looks good.

Only maintenance is picking up leaves in the spring.

If you want to keep anything from growing the heavy plastic and keeping debri out is the key!

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