How Landscape Fabric Controls Weeds
As a gardener, you probably only learned about the benefits of landscaping fabric lately. If you decide to give it a shot for your garden, you are going to be so pleased with the results! So many gardeners have come to realize that weed guard/weed block fabric is an excellent choice for reducing the number of weeds in their gardens. This fabric can be trimmed to fit any garden and will last a long time. In this article, you will learn how to use landscaping fabric, how to keep it in great condition, and whether it's the best weed control method for your landscape.
Landscaping fabric is also known as a weed barrier or just weed control fabric. This fabric serves as a permanent solution for controlling weeds while allowing moisture to move in and out of the soil. However, that does not mean you do not have to deal with weeds.
Backyard Landscaped Area
Installing Landscape Fabric
Landscaping fabric or weed barriers come in a large range of thicknesses and levels of durability. To prevent any future problems, make sure to install it as directed by the guidelines or manufacturer's instructions.
Prepare The Soil
The fabric should be applied to bare soil where vegetation and weeds have been removed. If the area will be used for planting, mix in the desired fertilizers, composts, and other soil modifications. Level out the soil to prevent holes or divots from forming caused by water that can lead to drainage issues.
Lay Down The Fabric
Purchase the amount of fabric you need to cover the area but be sure to add a few inches for all sides. Lay the fabric down on the soil making sure the edges overlap each other by approximately 12 inches. Provide some movement while stopping weeds from growing through the seams.
Securing The Fabric
One mistake many people have made is not securing the fabric to the ground properly. There are many options on the market to choose from including staples and stakes. Do not use mulch to secure the fabric, it will get displaced very easily causing the fabric to slide out of place and make a mess. Use the landscape pins known as garden staples. Placing the pins one foot apart should do the trick. Along the edges, any extra fabric can be doubled up or buried in the soil.
Adding Plants (Optional)
You can cut holes or slits in the fabric big enough to fit the plants' root balls if you want a garden in this space. To plan it out, place the plants on the fabric where they should go. Make sure the cut fabric is still partially attached. Cuts can be slit down the middle and once the plants are in place, the fabric can be laid down around the plants to prevent exposed soil at the base of the plants.
After the plants are in place, add bark, mulch, gravel, or rocks, over the fabric 2 to 3 inches deep. Water your plants at their bases.
Weeding Flower Bed
Keep Up Maintenance
As time moves on, the fabric will break down, become torn, and sometimes will degrade. Maintenance should be performed yearly to keep the weed barrier secure and functioning properly If you chose metal clips to hold the fabric in place, they might have broken off so replace them.
Organic mulches will start to decompose so replace them. Regularly clean out leaves and other debris that gathers on the mulch to stop weeds from finding a place to multiply.
When you bought the landscaping fabric, you were probably given the lifespan of the fabric. If that time has arrived, keep an eye out and replace it if it's showing signs of wearing out and no longer protecting the area from weeds.
Weed Guard Fabric in Garden
Alternatives For Landscaping Fabric
There are some alternatives for decreasing or eliminating the need for landscape fabric. One example is a naturalistic garden where the plants are closely placed together so they block out weeds altogether. Another alternative is using cover crops which are also referred to as green manures. Cover crops also help prevent weeds and add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
Landscaping fabric has freed up so many gardeners from spending countless hours pulling roots and dealing with weed-ridden gardens.