But in no time at all you will see the landscaping fabric stick up through the mulch and then it looks terrible in your garden. LOVE YOUR SITE, VERY EDUCATIONAL HOWEVER i NEED HELP!!! I built a 60′ by 100′ section of cedar raised beds on my farm. My recommendation is to view cloth as an interim solution It will save some time especially if you have a tendency to want to establish too many beds in too short a time! How do you recommend I kill the grass first? By allowing the water to shed off the landscaped area, it can either flow into somewhere you don’t want water to go, such as a foundation or retaining wall, or it will flow off into a storm drain, carrying pollutants into our waterways and oceans, while increasing the demand for potable water in the landscaped area. The first problem starts as soon as landscaping fabric is installed. The mulch slides all over and exposes it. weed barrier (cardboard) It depends very much on how much your soil already has. I would use Roundup. cover mulch (hay,straw). I couldn’t pull the grass up, there was just too much of it. It will provide added resistance from weeds growing thru the stones, and it will also keep the stones cleaner, since they will not mix with the underlying soil.. hello.. You claim the second kind lets all water flow through – prove it. I recall it being a daunting task with a rake, patience, and a lot of sweat. Weeding is probably the single biggest deterrent to more people gardening, most people do not like weeding. I would not use it. We’re trying to smother/suffocate the American Trumpet Vine, and we’ve hemmed the roots in by digging 3′ trenches and inserting sheet metal so it doesn’t grow past our mulch. Try Sunbelt by Dewitt. Unfortunately, because it’s light, this fabric is more likely to let the weeds through … Your gravel needs to be protected so it can permeate the water through it. The air does get in and the beautiful earth is not compacted by walking on it . I have to say that I must be the odd man out. I have an old weed filter with pebbles on top and it has only lasted 14 years; In the UK we’ve had a lot of rain- moss builds up on my weed filter and decays it- I will look for a better mulch method now as the weeds and grasses are taking over the whole of the surface area where the weed filter is supposed to be working. *phew. Add wood chip mulch on top of the soil. I am also a big fan of employing strong local youths at a fair hourly rate for these type of projects. My irrigation, aeration, and feeding are controlled with a 32-channel I/O card, zone valves and moisture sensors. My husband bought tons of very heavy duty landscape fabric about 10 years ago. It’s kind of a pain to replace each year, but earthworms love it. Remove the fabric. Is Tea a Good Fertilizer for Houseplants? Take our crash course in this material designed to inhibit weeds and keep soil from drying out. Weed fabric is really only suitable in certain situations certainly, but I have to say, if you buy a quality product then it will last for many many years and will allow for the penetration of water and through-flow of nutrients. Landscape fabric(which is usually black) also helps plants grow in some situations because it warms the soil. It's a 3.2oz woven poly fabric that lets tons of water and air through. Ide just take a shovel and remove it fairly quickly…easy peasy…until…the dreaded fabric that is. It looks to me like water just sits on top and doesn't soak through. The landscape fabric is water-permeable. I just read through all of the comments, and I very much realize that this is an old post; hoping you still monitor it. We were hoping to use carpet and then 4″ of mulch over it, but lost our used carpet source. It looks like I’m growing weed gardens. Do you have any other recommendations? There are 2 types of weed Whether you’re new to gardening or have been at it so long your thumb is a deep shade of green, you may have seen rolls of landscape fabric at DIY stores and gardening centers—and become intrigued. This also means that the soil temperature won't vary as much, protecting plants with delicate root systems. Thank you! The fabric type makes a huge difference in my experience, The stuff sold in the landscape trade is not the same as the stuff sold in the nursery trade. Have you done side by side studies to quantify the amount of water going through your fabric vs no fabric? If you have a lot of grass and weeds I suggest killing it first with Glyphosate (if you have time). It is less toxic than vinegar and does less damage to soil than plastic or cardboard, both of which harm soil life by excluding air and water. In a vegetable garden you will want these gone by next spring–either they decompose, or you remove them. Landscape fabric is bad for people who have the time, energy, and stamina to pull weeds and collect mulch, and I respect that. I have established many hedge rows of berry bushes, deciduous and evergreen shrubs this way. 1 0. I have raised beds with subterraneous irrigation and piping for aeration under the weedcloth. A lot of weeds come through the stones. so how about the PP non woven landscape fabric? I live in Ontario, Canada. I live close to a ravine which is protected and we as home owners are not aloud to use poisons In the area. Roots will still grow into it and it will still show if there is not enough mulch on top. I have a slope in front of my house and had no success at a lawn. The problem is that this work was done in pots in a greenhouse. You’ll probably need to with organic mulches that degrade and thin out over time; gravel and rock mulch remain pretty much the same as when first applied. This fabric weed barrier is used to reduce the amount of weed infiltration while still allowing water, fertilizer and oxygen to filter through to the plant, a definite improvement over laying plastic down as garden weed barriers. Best advice to get good quality soil back? They all say they are air permeable – and they are to some extent, but less than no fabric at all. A think layer of wood chips will reduce weeds just as effectively as the cloth. I moved out and they moved in. However I disagree that it is bad. Any type of barrier to the movement of water will back up the water, and then it starts running somewhere else. I also use it to start berry/shrub/hedge rows. Good luck..Btw, bug window screen fabric is far more porous and will not suffocate your garden projects like landscaping fabric or chemicals sprays that are not good for the environment, shrubbery or animals. I use long screws to hold corners in place. The landscape fabric should be removed after a couple of years once the tree is large enough and strong enough to compete with the weeds. Why do you think gypsum from drywall sheets is good for your soil? Thank you. You can add fabric on top to help hold mulch in place. In order to install the fabric, large staples are used to secure it to the underlying soil. I was gonna cut holes in the cardboard and fabric with a razor blade type cutter, dig the holes and plant, then lay the rock down. Hi I am a hop grower in Nova Scotia and I am wondering if I can use the filter fabric to control weeds next to my plants if that will cause my plants not to grow well. The best thing for trees and shrubs is to leave the soil alone and get them to grow in it. Your non-woven fabric will prevent dirt from getting into the gravel. SO it is unlikely the ‘coloring’ in wood chips will make a difference. However, strong perennial weeds will eventually grow through or around it. I plan to lay down 3 inches of rock. I have found one of the best weed suppression systems is gypsum sheets ie plasterboard. I ws about to order cloth to cover the ground where I want to put rocks, but I plan to be able to have flowers or some plants in the front of the house. The raspberries are now where I want them, except for a few that still emerge in odd places. The areas where I’ve removed it are much easier to weed rather than just snapping them off the fabric surface, leaving the roots underneath. Offers some erosion control on slopes subject to washout from heavy rains. I’m no fan of landscape fabric, but I accept that it can be a useful tool in the garden in a few select circumstances.I go into how to decide whether landscape fabric is a good choice for you in this article, but if you’ve decided to use it, I wanted to provide you with some professional tips and pointers on how to install it professionally.. Add amendments to your soil. I am thinking there was no killing of the grass prior to laying a weed barrier or the barrier is not of any quality. Thanks for writing. Plants grown from seed were potted up and grown to a decent size before planted into the mulch. If you keep up with them, there’s no point in putting down the fabric in the first place. Being organic minded didn’t want to spray it 1st. It might seem like you are adding a lot, but most of this manure and compost will be degraded, and the amount of remaining organic matter will be much less once you are ready to plant. CARDBOARD. No material with small holes will work as well as no material at all. i see this post is from a few years ago, hopefully you are still monitoring it. After some research for a Japanese dry garden I found out that what they use are 1/4 inch irregular rock. Not sure about the glue, but microbes will almost certainly digest it too. With a lot of muscle and patience! I have a builder for a fayher in law so score a fair bit of it. I get almost no weeds after about 4 years. cover with rich compost/manure Landscape fabric is constructed from woven fibers or manufactured as a solid sheet with perforated holes to allow water to soak through. The lasagna method is absolutely brilliant ! Eventually, I will go to regenerative gardening, but if I’m going to pull weeds, it will have to be raised beds. Wood chips work just fine on their own and they add organic material to the soil. In permanent landscapes, plant roots will grow into and through the landscape fabric. I would not recommend bark mulch as it is an attractant to bugs and ticks. There are different grades (thicknesses) of each. 3-4 inches total will do the job. And discovered there’s more than one kind!!!! By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila. There is the thin, woven stuff and there is the thicker, more plastic like stuff. Add mulch as necessary. The fabric is placed on the ground, between plants/crops, forming a barrier that allows air and water to pass through the fabric in order for plants to grow. The only way to get rid of it is to tear it out – not an easy job since it will break into smaller pieces as you go. Why Can’t You Trust Gardening Information on the Internet & How to Bloom Houseplants? We’ve never had any of these problems with the weed cloth. It’s impossible to weed once the weed’s roots make their way through and below it. Does landscape fabric really work to keep weeds out of a flowerbed? How do you measure their activity and populations? There are lots of pollutants in our air, water, and soil these days but I wouldn’t worry much about landscape fabric. I don’t know. Even before reading all the downsides of with this junk, I’ve been (sneaking) ripping much of it out as I work around the yard (please don’t tell him :x). Yes of course you can water with overhead irrigation. Now they all have weeds and fabric coming up through the driveway! The most zen thing you can do, in my opinion, is learn about the plants that you term ‘weeds’. Water still goes through, and so does air unlike landscape fabric. The worst problem was removing the fabric from the garden beds. Save yourself a headache.Mulch doesnt stay mulch forever. it is relatively expensive for a product that does almost nothing. I strongly discourage the use of any landscaping fabric. But I don’t see much benefit to doing all this work – just spread the seeds. About the weed barrier, I do not want to use cardboard (ink, glue). For example, you can use Glyphosphate on Poison Ivy, but not for ‘cosmetic’ reasons? Just sweep 3 times a year. I tried pine bark nuggets but so light just blow away. You are not able to use Roundup in Ontario. What do you recommend to control weeds. Will recread my notes. Then the weeds just grow right on top of the fabric. I am only concerned with are they doing well enough to please me. Best part is, it’s biodegradable. In garden soil, too much organic matter results in high levels of nutrients which could reach toxic levels. If the mulch is 6″ thick it should kill cold season grasses. Landscape fabric Landscape fabric is a better choice for long-term use to suppress weeds because it allows air and water to pass through. Just keep in mind you might have to water more than you would otherwise — the water will first permeate the fabric, and then the ground, … He proceeded to put down landscaping fabric almost everywhere. It either gets washed away, or moves into the air. Thanks! Would it be safe to use wood chips then the soil dirt on top to plant the vegetables. 2) Sheet mulching, also called lasagna gardening: https://www.gardenmyths.com/sheet-mulching-lasagna-gardening-harm-soil/ This is how landscape fabric is advertised to work. HAVE PLANTED CAMILIAS IN A BED CONTAINING A VERY LARGE AMOUNT OF BLUE CLAY. I use it to maintain weed free low maintenance rows between berry rows. Unfortunately i have to place it on the concrete ground. So those four plants are the only things I need the soil to be good for. I can’t keep up especially with the neighbor with a whole yard of several kinds. This fabric does absolutely nothing but take up time and money. Now I see many thick strands of coarse grass popping through the area that was extended. It is true that seeds sprouting under the cloth will not grow through it. My soil is fine, the water goes through it, and there are a lot less weeds. In zone 5 I recommend Geranium Geranium macrohizum. Thank you. It is the not organic material that is the problem, but the decomposition of it over time. I am so glad that I stumbled onto your website while researching weed barrier cloth. He cover it with dirt, fertilize and mulched it. is gone. ft., up to $.80 per sq. It is a black mesh type of plastic that is used extensively in landscaping to keep weeds out of your garden. Cant tell you how many times ive given this “talk” to people. This is the type that is used in nurserys and greenhouses to provide a weed free surface to grow potted plants on. If they degrade quickly then they would work OK. Either a low sedum, or if you like something higher, try Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’. Thanks in advance! It was common in my neighborhood for all the gravel driveways to have fabric installed first (same contractor). It was a mess. If you’ve ever had to remove landscape fabric, it’s a mess, and the plants really don’t want to come out of it, and they end up ripping the fabric as you tug on them, at least if they are large. I’ve talked many times about the importance of life in the soil. No, two completely different products altogether. I assume that most landscape fabric will let water through.. otherswise it would be like a plastic bag. Weed seeds can still sprout in the mulch used to cover the fabric. As to the water pooling or puddling -- the wholesale grower I used to work for used commercial grade landscape fabric to cover the can beds to keep weeds down. You will get few weeds. Thank you so much for keeping gardeners honest! I am thinking of covering with 3in of beach gravel and, prior to looking at you column, I was proposing a good fabric cover underneath. We can’t dig all the roots up (as is recommended), as they’ve gone underneath our poured concrete patio. You can add nitrogen just before planting if you want. Note that virtually all landscape fabric is intended to be covered with mulch of any type—wood chips, gravel, recycled rubber, etc. If you “plan on keeping up with it”, it is much easier to pull plants out of the earth than it is pulling them out of fabric and earth combined. As a long term solution plant a ground cover that takes no effort and lets in no weeds. Landscape fabric is the best way to ensure that weeds do not grow through your mulch! We need to move beyond that idea. Give your neighbor some periwinkle (Vinca major), a groundcover that loves shade. It is by oz sq yard to heavy depending I’m 69 and pulling weeds is not something I can keep up with. my question is. Hi Robert I was just about to go out to buy fabric when I found your post. Tough weeds most definitely will grow through weed fabrics. This is especially true for those plants that are edible. Weed barrier cloth is no better for controlling weeds than a 4 inch layer of mulch. http://obcnw.com/groundcovercloth4x300.aspx This is the fabric I use to great success. I would not recommend this fabric anywhere you want to have water pass through it. I cuts out most of the weeding from gardening. No I covered the ground with this fabric 1st http://obcnw.com/groundcovercloth4x300.aspx. 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