Landscape for rental?


Hey everyone! We are renting a townhouse and are lucky enough to have a unit with a private fenced yard. Unluckily for us, it’s a total disaster and we are responsible for maintaining it. The property management company covered the ground with rocks, but never laid down any weed barrier. The weeds are ridiculously bad. We have been weed whacking, but they are back less than 3 days later. We don’t want to use any toxic sprays since we have a service dog. Summers are hot where we live and we are in a drought, so I’d love some low-maintenance options that hopefully don’t break the bank. Are we going to have to dig up all these rocks in order to accomplish anything?

ETA: we have 2 bushes in the yard we don’t want harmed. The overall space is about 8’x16’.

  9 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 01, 2021

    What is the aprox sq footage of the area that is covered with rocks?

    Is it river rock, or the smaller size?

  • If you want a weed barrier, you'll have to rake up the rocks. Here's a solution I use for weeds:

    Take a spray bottle and cover the bottom with salt and fill it up with vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap and shake. Spray on the weeds.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 01, 2021

    If you dig up the rocks and put in a weed barrier and replace the rocks, that will work for awhile, Generally weather with winds, rain and other natural elements will bring in dirt and you'll have weeds again, probably not as heavy as they are now.

    Plain white vinegar will kill the weeds, but we don't know the amount of area you have to cover.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 01, 2021

    even with weed barrier you will still get some weeds - you can make a weed killer or buy non-toxic ones at any garden center or Home Depot type stores- if you use a weed killer you can apply it on a warm day and let it dry then it will not harm your dog just read directions on the bottles and follow them

  • You could get a stand up weeder. You didn’t say if you wanted to plant anything; if you do, salt will leave soil barren for a while so best to avoid that if you intend to plant.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 01, 2021

    An inexpensive weed killer can be made with a gallon of white distilled vinegar, 1 cup of epsom or table salt and a squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid. Get a garden sprayer and spray the mixture over the current weeds. As new ones grow, spray them as sooon as you see them. Eventually the weed growth will diminish.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 01, 2021

    The vinegar will kill everything, it can't tell the difference between what you want to preserve and weeds.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 01, 2021

    Hi Brianna: Try this:


    Add 10 ounces of Borax to 2 ½ gallons of water, mix thoroughly, and spray onto the weeds thoroughly. Watching them wither away smugly, optional.


    The proteins in cornmeal– or specially-processed corn gluten meal – stop any seed from germinating and growing. You can also sprinkle cornmeal on grown weeds, it’ll kill them just as well as it’ll stop them from growing.


    One quick way to get rid of weeds? Pouring or spraying a little white vinegar on the offending weeds. This acidic masterpiece is perfect for shriveling weeds, just be careful of your flowers. A little excess spray won’t hurt them, but accidentally pouring the same amount of vinegar on your flowers as your weeds could kill them. This never works for me :(, but it works for some.

    Or, what I have used with great success:

    Homemade Weed Killer, The recipe I use is::

    1 gallon of white vinegar

    2 cups of Epsom salts

    1/4 cup of dish washing detergent, like Dawn.

    Mix the vinegar and salt until the salt is completely dissolved.

    Mix in the Dawn until mixed well, but not all fuzzy and sudsy, sort of swirl it around.

    Put in a spray bottle and spray the weeds liberally, in the morning after the dew has gone. Then, by evening the weeds should be dead or on their way out. Don't spray anything you want to keep or it will die too. I have used this and it works quite well. Also, it's good for making an edging as it kills only what it touches. If you have something like a piece of cardboard, hold it up and down, edgewise, and spray the area you want as an edge. Just be careful not to spray your flowers and/or bushes.


    1 gallon white vinegar

    1 cup of salt

    1 Tbsp liquid Dawn

    Combine ingredients and put into a spray bottle and spray the weeds at the sunniest time of day. This mix is very effective so make sure it doesn’t spray on something you DON’T want to kill.

    Good luck