Weed Barrier Fabric - Standard Grade
- Sturdy geotextile fabric creates a weed barrier
- Polyspun fabric allows for water, air and nutrients to pass through
- By reducing weed growth, healthy plant growth is encouraged
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About Weed Barrier Cloth And Why You Need It
When you spend your entire free time pulling up weeds to keep pests out of your garden, you need a weed barrier cloth that will work and free up your time. If you have a very busy life but spend your time digging up or pulling weeds out of your garden, flower beds, or raised beds it can be a real pain in the neck. There are numerous weed-control products to make life easier. Using landscape fabric is by far the best option. There are some things you should know about landscape fabric before using it in your garden.
It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned gardener or new to the game, you have probably seen rolls of weed control material at your gardening center and have wondered if they really work. Among its many benefits, landscape fabric allows you to control weeds without using toxic chemicals. There are several pros and cons that we will go over to help you pick the right one for your garden and share some great tips for the best results.
Weed Cloth Installation
Landscape fabric is made from woven fibers or manufactured as a solid sheet with perforated holes to allow water to soak through. Some brands have UV protection to increase the life of the fabric. Almost all landscape fabric can be covered over with mulch of any kind including wood chips and gravel. Under gravel, landscape fabric works really well because the weight of the gravel will keep the fabric in place.
Landscape fabric is a natural alternative to chemicals by preventing weed seeds from sprouting. Seedlings need light and air to grow. When weed seeds germinate under a layer of landscape fabric, they will be blocked from the sun and die off.
Most gardeners do not want to use chemical herbicides to treat their flower beds or borders, especially if they have children or pets that play in the yard. Landscape fiber will help eliminate the use of toxic alternatives.
You need to get some landscape staples to hold the fabric down. Landscape staples are stiff, u-shaped wires that can be hammered through the fabric into the soil. You can use a traditional hammer or a rubber mallet. These staples are 4 to 6 inches long, approximately 1 inch wide, and are made of 11-gauge wire. Even though gravel or other mulch will lay over the fabric to keep it in place, it's a good idea to use a pin in case of high winds or you have to cut and arrange unusually shaped pieces of fabric around an area or existing plants.
What you would have to pay for continual weed control is much more than fabric pins which are not expensive at all. The cost of landscape fabric can vary from 45 cents per square foot to 80 cents per square foot, depending on the brand and thickness. Thicker fabric can cost a little more. Seasoned gardeners suggest using professional-quality landscape fabric because it does a better job of controlling weeds than the lower-quality alternatives.
Will Help Prevent Erosion
Outside of keeping weeds under control, landscape fabric can be used to stop erosion on slopes. Keep in mind, when placing the fabric on a slope, you will need more pins to keep it secured.z
The Benefits Of Landscape Fabric
This fabric keeps inorganic mulches and unwanted materials like rocks from settling into the soil. While mulches, chipped or shredded, and recycled rubber have aesthetic value when layered around the bases of trees and shrubs, they will not decompose. Also, a layer of landscape fabric will keep unwanted materials from sinking into the soil.
Pulling Weed From Garden
Helps Retain Needed Moisture In Soil
- It helps retain moisture in the soil from evaporating. Sun and wind play a huge role in evaporation which can leave soil very dry. Laying landscape fabric on top of the soil will help to keep moisture in the ground.
- Offers a level of erosion control on slopes that fall victim to washout from heavy rains. Semipermeable landscape fabrics will let some moisture seep through while protecting the surface of the soil from runoff water that is heading down the slope, leading to erosion.
Weed Barrier Install Near Tree
Be sure to get the right landscape fabric for your project. The quality of the fabric along with good installation practices will determine how long it will hold up. Look for specification sheets which show how the fabric performs under different laboratory tests. These test results may not mean a ton to you but it at least provides something for you to compare one fabric against the other. Be very wary of fabrics which do not provide a specification sheet with testing results. When testing has not been done, there is really no telling what level of quality you are buying.
Make sure to include any modifications before covering your garden with the cloth.
Organic mulch including fallen leaves or pine needles will not restore nutrients in the soil below the layer of the landscape fabric. Without this fabric, the organic matter will naturally biodegrade and at some point just blend in with the soil. Modifying the soil with rich nutrients such as composted manure, peat moss, and other organic matter must be done before installing the fabric because you can't go back and do it later on. If you are not sure what modifications you will need for the soil, take a sample and bring it to your extension office which is a county office that will perform a soil test but there will be a fee. The extension office will give you expert agricultural and gardening information to help you out.
Don't forget to overlap the fabric when you place it down.
If you have a sidewalk or any time you have walked on a sidewalk you have seen weeds growing through cracks and even the tiny separations in the pathway. That said, weeds can easily work their way around and over the edges of landscape fabric if you don't pay attention to generously overlapping the pieces.
Measure the area you want to cover with fabric and make sure you overlap the edges approximately 8 inches and allow a 2-inch overhang of the fabric around the perimeter. You can always tuck it under later on once the fabric has been secured. In general, landscaped beds have a border so you can easily tuck the excess fabric along the perimeter by pushing it down between the soil and the border. A putty knife works really well to tuck and conceal the fabric edges.
Pulling Out Weeds in Garden
It's actually quite easy to install landscape fabric:
Level The Soil
After you have made all your modifications, it's time to level the soil by breaking up any hard clods and raking the surface until it's smooth.
Place The Fabric
Place the fabric with the rough side facing down. This helps the fabric stay in place while you are working.
Pin The Fabric In Place
Insert a pin every 8 to 10 inches along the edges of the fabric and make sure they are 12 inches apart within the center of the fabric. Do not skimp on pins or the fabric could come loose in as little as a month.
Cut Round Holes
Using a very sharp utility knife, you have to cut round holes to place your plants. Make sure the holes are large enough to place the plants you have selected.
Cover The Fabric With Mulch
You have to cover the fabric with 2 to 3 inches of mulch. The layer will help the pins hold it down, will protect it from UV rays, and will benefit the ground underneath the fabric by retaining moisture. The mulch will add a beautiful finish to your landscaping.
Gardener Walking on Nursery Fabric
You can plant ground cover instead of landscape fabric.
If you are someone who just does not want to work with landscape fabric, try applying a quick, thick ground cover to control weeds. It's incredibly natural and an excellent alternative in perennial beds and borders to keep weeds down. There are several varieties to choose from including creeping juniper that spreads out and forms a dense green surface to get rid of weeds. Just don't think ground cover is a foolproof alternative. For some reason, weeds always find ways to grow where you would least expect them.
Be careful when using plastic -
Plastic does not decompose but does tend to tear. After a few years, you will have to remove and replace it. Also, if not used properly used it could cut off air to your plants. As an example, laying plastic landscape sheeting above the soil for some projects is a great choice such as preventing weeds from growing between the stones used for cobblestone walkways. For other areas including gardens, your plants need to have air to survive so plastic is not the best choice. You should reconsider fabric as the better alternative.
Place mulch on top of the landscape fabric. Pre-emergent herbicides are applied to the soil after your plants are established and will not harm them. It will not kill existing weeds but will keep new weed seeds from sprouting. You should check on the mulch annually and replace it when needed.
Whatever mulch you choose, keep an eye out for any loss of coverage from the mulch. As the seasons change you are likely to lose some of the coverage due to weather, wind, foot traffic, etc.
In this day and age, no one has the time to spend countless hours in their gardens and flower beds. Many gardeners do not have hours on end to keep flower beds and rock gardens free of weeds. Using a good quality weed control fabric can reduce your time pulling weeds and worrying about the soil quality for your plants. The fabric will keep the soil moist which means you will be able to conserve water!
Installing Weed Block Fabric