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Remove bark or not?

Hello, I have a 7 m by 14 m area in my clay soiled, boggy garden. I am going to cover this part in gravel. Do I remove the bark first or just put membrane on top.... Am somewhat of a novice so all advice is massively appreciated. Thanks
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    I take it you mean you have a layer of chipped bark down at the moment.  If so, this will eventually rot down and change your levels a bit so I would remove it and compost it or put it somewhere where you need a mulch through which plants can grow.

    Then make sure all weed roots are removed form the patch, rake it level and put down your membrane and then a good, thick layer of gravel.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Yes, it was a cost effective solution to cover the mud when we moved in in September. 2 dogs in boggy waterlogged soil means a very messy house!!!
    Thank you for your advice 🙂
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    Make sure the gravel isn't too fine then.  We inherited a very fine gravel drive when we moved here so we get bits of that shipped in with our two dogs' paws and then it gets stuck under the door and grates.  Horrid noise and not nice underfoot.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ok, great advice.
  • Leave the bark in place, it will rot down eventually and improve the soil structure
  • Really?  Thank you.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    It won't improve the soil structure as well as rotted manure or compost and it will take ages to rot down and release nutrients and, in some cases, can deplete nitrogen levels in the soil.  Not a problem if your soil is healthy but not worth risking if you're unsure.

    Not exactly difficult to rake off any chipped bark and either compost it or use it somewhere else and thus ensure an even level for your new membrane and gravel.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    edited February 2020
    Obelixx said:
    It won't improve the soil structure as well as rotted manure or compost and it will take ages to rot down and release nutrients and, in some cases, can deplete nitrogen levels in the soil.  Not a problem if your soil is healthy but not worth risking if you're unsure.

    Not exactly difficult to rake off any chipped bark and either compost it or use it somewhere else and thus ensure an even level for your new membrane and gravel.
    Time nor nitrogen seem to be an issue if it is to be covered by gravel....   why waste energy removing?  Certainly don’t waste manure/compost.
  • Well now I am confused 🙂 as you can see there is alot to move, however it it helps the drainage of the clay soil then it's absolutely worth it ( and trip to chiropractor after 😆)
    I just need less of a wet mess outside
  • i am trying to add picture
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