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Lapillo - does anyone else use this?

(14 Posts)
giulia Sat 23-Apr-22 15:43:16

We bought this three years ago to cover flower beds, in order to eliminate the need for constant weeding.

It was laid over a kind of mesh - very easy to do, cut crosses in the mesh to insert the plants we wanted (mainly shrubs) and then spread over the lapillo at a depth of about 2cm.

Three years on, I can say we are totally satisfied. The odd weeds do sprout up in the Spring but they root only in the lapillo so are very easy to extract. The rain goes through the mesh and I do think the lapillo also keep the roots of our plants cooler and helps retain humidity in the soil.

I thoroughly recommend!

grannysyb Sat 23-Apr-22 16:30:55

I presume that this is a permeable membrane, that is black plastic weed suppressant which let's the water through. We use it on our allotment, couldn't manage without it as we are not up to digging anymore.

Welshpurple Sat 23-Apr-22 16:43:52

I read this with very much interest, at last something that really works. Our garden is plagued with weeds and its such back breaking work continually trying to get rid of them. Weed killer doesn't seem to work at all. I've made a note of lapillo and aim to get some and eventually hope to see the garden transformed. The previous owner of our bungalow have used some kind of mesh but it seems to be rotting therefore letting more and more weeks grow!

Onwards and upwards, and lots of hard work to do to make it look presentable.

Welshpurple Sat 23-Apr-22 16:56:19

where could I get this?

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 23-Apr-22 20:48:01


giulia Sun 24-Apr-22 06:12:51


where could I get this?

I presume you will buy it from a garden centre as I did. Or online. I think LeRoy Merlin sell it. It comes in different size "pebbles" (volcanic lava). Also in different shades of brown/grey.

The permeable membrane doesn't rot if covered over. I suppose it might if left open to the elements.

Good luck! We too feel too old for constant back-breaking weeding.

giulia Sun 24-Apr-22 06:16:54

If I remember rightly, the first year only some underlying couch grass did have the strength to sprout through the mesh and lapillo here and there. I constantly poured boiling water over those patches and they did not reappear the next year.

giulia Sun 24-Apr-22 06:19:28



Yes, we thought it expensive but very well worth the initial cost.

I imagine constant use of weedkiller comes out expensive in the long run and that is harmful.

nanna8 Sun 24-Apr-22 07:21:10

We used to have weed mat and for a while it worked but now it is annoying when you are planting things soI rip it out when I come across it. I’m talking a few years down the track, though. Bear in mind I live in a dry climate so probably things are different in the UK.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 24-Apr-22 08:30:40

You don’t use weed killer around your plants though do you?

At £15.64 for a 20litre bag from Amazon it’s very expensive for a 1 inch layer, unless you have a very small flower bed and then it’s easy to pull out a few weeds.
Anyway I’m biased as I have a quarter of an acre and the expense would be mind boggling.

Mamie Sun 24-Apr-22 09:25:42

We have inherited a garden which has been covered in thick membrane and then neglected. The banks and borders have random shrubs sticking through with the membrane showing everywhere else. The membrane is a perfect breeding ground for nettle roots. We are busy tearing it up, getting rid of nettles, weeding and re-planting. 😱

Casdon Sun 24-Apr-22 09:39:30

I’ve been reading up about lapillo, I hadn’t heard of it before. I think the advantage over other mulches is that it doesn’t disperse in the wind or rot down, so although it’s expensive initially, a 4cm layer with a membrane underneath should last for years. I’m quite tempted, because I’ve got a long, steep planted bank in my garden, and it’s really hard work on my back maintaining it.

Welshpurple Sun 24-Apr-22 17:06:09

Many thanks for your reply Giulia for your reply. Will have to have pay our garden centre a visit and see what they have.
Looks like we have a bit of work to do now, just slowly bit by bit until its done.

NanTheWiser Thu 28-Apr-22 17:25:21

I have used lapillo as an additive to potting mix for my cacti and succulents, as it is free draining. However, it is VERY expensive to buy in the UK, and usually sold by Bonsai specialists for use in potting mixes, so probably not the answer here.