I built a 60′ by 100′ section of cedar raised beds on my farm. I want to lay a dog run beside my house. ft., up to $.80 per sq. Use arborist wood chips which tend to be larger. I was going to invest in a commercial grade fabric and then layer with colored dark brown mulch since was told the colored mulch won’t attract termites. I get almost no weeds after about 4 years. I don’t know. I plan to lay down 3 inches of rock. The tree roots have less competition for space and nutrients. Thanks for publishing all this info. LOVE YOUR SITE, VERY EDUCATIONAL HOWEVER i NEED HELP!!! I think this is true when we are talking about garden beds but cloth can be efficient under walking path especially if you are establishing a garden of some size. I couldnt agree more. The purpose of landscape fabric is to control weeds, and it’s bound to do its job effectively for the first year or two—but be prepared to pull weeds that may sprout on top of the fabric later. Remove the fabric. It looks to me like water just sits on top and doesn't soak through. Usually my dogs don’t get in the area, but if they do with the stuff hurt them. Do not cover with mulch. Weed barrier should stop grass from growing through, but it won’t stop new grass seed from growing on top of it. I went to several garden experts before trying it myself, and they unanimously thought it was a great idea, economical and imaginative. I just paid $6500 for my landscape bed to be extended out 3 feet and filled with some new plants and covered in river rock. If I was making a path for humans I would just lay down a 5 inch layer of 1/4 inch crushed rock. I suppose another issue can be nitrogen being locked up in the decaying matter. As a company we only sell high quality fabric, not like the kind you find in the garden centre, but a woven style especially made for us. If not do i need to cut out paper and remove debris and replant. Consider planting something instead. Is there an alternative to fabric? With a lot of muscle and patience! And, btw, strawberries proliferate in the rows, and are deliciously productive. Farms are exempt from the ban. I’m looking for something to only use for 2-3 years before pulling it up again; we aren’t planting anything in it, and will be just temporarily landscaping over it to wait it out. You could but it needs to be removed before the seeds start to grow, and in a seed mix, different types of seed germinate at different rates. According to seasoned plant experts and botanist, it attracts unwanted harmful pests like ticks, sow bugs, termites, earwigs, ants, slugs and more. Most gardeners agree that the best place for landscape fabric is around shrubs and trees where it can be installed and topped with quality mulch to hopefully last for years. There are lots of pollutants in our air, water, and soil these days but I wouldn’t worry much about landscape fabric. It’s impossible to dig through. Pine bark is slightly acidic in nature, takes time to decompose, and does not need replacing as often as other types of organic mulch. Water is pumped through the needle into the soil to insure thorough watering. Thank you for this post, Robert, and good luck with your zenning, Glenn. Hi Robert, I recently purchased a garden raised bed. SHOULD I REPLANT MY BUSHES, AFTER DIGGING AND PUTTING IN BETTER SOIL, OR WILL THEY GROW AND HOW CAN I tell if they are not doing as well as they should??? The first problem starts as soon as landscaping fabric is installed. cover with rich compost/manure 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. Thank you for your straight-forward honesty about landscape fabrics. In the past ive never had any trouble removing weeds. Are you suggesting to go with a thicker gravel and drop the fabric? I am not a landscaping nor garden expert but I found commercial landscape fabric immensely costly. For longevity, woven landscape fabric has greater durability in the garden. Natural Weed Killers – Do Organic Herbicides Work? Roots will still grow into it and it will still show if there is not enough mulch on top. Water does tend to run off – but a lot does not run through it. I bought a house that has stones lining the back of the house. Yes, you are correct that; some tiny roots weave through the bug screen fabric, but my idea has been maintenance free for over 12 years. If not, what can we use to reduce the amount of weeds that come through the stones? The first is plastic sheet with small Perforated Landscape holes. Both ideas are great, and try them out to see what fits best for you. I mulched with woodchips and found that after two years it was great soil for weeds. If you plant to add some markings in the sand they keep the shape for a long time. Hello – I have a question – we have a large area that we have previously covered with mulch =however my husband goes crazy with the leaf blower each fall to remove leaves – however it also removes most of the bark mulch each year – is there any heavier kind of a product that could withstand the leaf blowing each fall ? The second is spun bond plastic made by spraying extremely fine (finer than hair) on a moving belt several inches thick and then pressed to a thin sheet. I moved out and they moved in. This will kill the grass over a couple of months. Me too. Not to mention it DOES block out a lot of water from your established garden. It probably depends on the type of cloth. The reality is that some rain will go through the holes, but much of it flows over top of the cloth and away from your plants, which remain dry. If you are planting trees in uncultivated land that is very weedy, there is a benefit to using the weed barrier around the tree for a few years in order to keep the weeds down, and give the tree a chance to get established. It does save a bit of time By leaving cloth for some years you would have killed a lot of life in the soil including a lot of the weeds and you could save on weed killer What a special kind of hell it is removing weeds where fabric has been laid ! Lifted it just recently to check its effectiveness and there is no sign of weed growth whatsoever. I don’t know about hessian sacks. A pre-emergent herbicide won’t harm established plants. Either will out compete most weeds in deep to full shade under dense canopies. You might change your mind over time as so many others have done. If one or two weeds pop up through they can be killed with cheap vinegar. Now they all have weeds and fabric coming up through the driveway! More on bark dust here. Seems too complicated to me. Some brands offer UV protection to maintain the life of the fabric. Would it be safe to use wood chips then the soil dirt on top to plant the vegetables. Three years later still working. Landscape fabric is bad for people who have the time, energy, and stamina to pull weeds and collect mulch, and I respect that. Kill the grass before planting. Mulch 2 feet thick might get rid of bindweed. You can add fabric on top to help hold mulch in place. How do I get rid of it if the fabric isn’t working? I keep weeding and mulching but nothing is helping. Lay bark dust. There is a serious misunderstanding here. I cuts out most of the weeding from gardening. Before you place your gravel fill, make sure your trench lines up with the fabric. I was going to sell my house to my daughter and her fiance. I certainly agree that the fabric does not work. Studies on other products show a definite reduction of water flowing through during a rain. 3-4 inches total will do the job. Will the seeds grow. The weed barrier in the blog is quite different than using cardboard. Does not work well on slopes or hills. It’s said that it’s air permeable, biodegradable? You can put down cardboard, but newspaper is better. If you use a thin cover of mulch, weeds do not grow in the mulch because it is just too dry there. Another factor that affects the amount that the fabric stretches is the actual fiber that the fabric is made out of. Its all about how and where you use it. The problem with the method is that the newspaper and cardboard keeps water and air from the soil. I have had an educationaĺ tour and head spinner reading all this. I have moved into a new flat and there appears to be PARTS on this black plastic underlay under parts of the garden, plenty of weeds and ivy ripping through. If they degrade quickly then they would work OK. 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. Genevieve says. Have you done side by side studies to quantify the amount of water going through your fabric vs no fabric? Not sure about the glue, but microbes will almost certainly digest it too. Instead of it lying in a landfill, it was recycled for better use in my garden and landscape plants. Small holes allow the water to slowly seep into the The needle is inserted repeatedly at different locations around the plant. It depends very much on how much your soil already has. Most gardening experts advise gardeners to avoid using petroleum products or products with chemicals around plants. I hate weed barrier fabric. It probably lets air and water through better than landscape fabric. Does it keep the weeds out? You should also be able to breathe through it like you would through a dust mask. Im a veteran landscaper. Water still goes through, and so does air unlike landscape fabric. You claim the second kind lets all water flow through – prove it. I have had a fabric barrier in one large section of my garden for approximately 3 years. Moreover, landscape fabric lets water and air in and doesn’t diminish the ground quality. He cover it with dirt, fertilize and mulched it. Tough weeds most definitely will grow through weed fabrics. I don’t know anything about dog runs. WHAT A NIGHTMARE landscaping fabric is ! Lay it out and soak it with water. I realize that weeds may still eventually grow through the barrier and rocks but I plan on keeping up with it. But I don’t see much benefit to doing all this work – just spread the seeds. Neither is good for your plants. Obviously, the more water, the wider the trench will have to be. Weed barrier and landscape fabric are two totally different things. Wood chips are organic material and will erode and their color will fade in time, whereas, bug screens (hidden under river rocks or lava rocks, will last longer than a human life a it will not break down in a waste dump landfill. ft., depending on the brand and thickness. It's a 3.2oz woven poly fabric that lets tons of water and air through. I doubt that the cloth kills bindweed in a path – it will just find another place to grow it’s green stems. Best advice to get good quality soil back? Thank you! Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Cardboard rarely kills bindweed – it just travels under ground to a new location. You can come over here and maintain my vegetable garden for me…. I thought landscape fabric would be preferable to black plastic, allowing the earthworms and microbes to continue to live in the soil. I’m have a outer wall of just installed stones 3 courses high —14inches total height — to hold the topsoil and the plants. We have about 3-4 inches of mulch on top. Seems as if termites either can’t see or have poor vision. This is the type that is used in nurserys and greenhouses to provide a weed free surface to grow potted plants on. Just use rocks – keep them thicker to reduce weeds. He proceeded to put down landscaping fabric almost everywhere. I have established many hedge rows of berry bushes, deciduous and evergreen shrubs this way. ... its not as affective as what it should be but it does let water pass through so I guess thats a plus. I was thinking of putting down weed barrier fabric and covering with washed rock. Window screen factory places or window screen services often have unuseable rolls of bug screen fabric that are defective. Great advice. Add mulch as necessary. Does landscape fabric really work to keep weeds out of a flowerbed? the air pockets are too small and stay too wet – perfect for seed germination. For example, you can use Glyphosphate on Poison Ivy, but not for ‘cosmetic’ reasons? It can travel a long distance under ground. It’s impossible to weed once the weed’s roots make their way through and below it. A lot of people miss-use the fabric, and therefore make it less effective. Most stores either do not control it or don’t know the law. A 3.5 oz fabric is too thick for weeds to penetrate and also comes in 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, 6 feet, 7 feet or 8 feet widths. It is by oz sq yard to heavy depending Add wood chip mulch on top of the soil. If you understand Roundup you would not be surprised. I have more weeds every year then plants it’s ridiculous. However I disagree that it is bad. What else do you suggest? I tried pine bark nuggets but so light just blow away. 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. I have used tar paper to cover and protect fig trees from New York winters, but I’ve heard tar paper may have unsafe chemical run off that could contaminate the fruit. Smaller trenches are normally around 5 to 6-inches. We also have bad termite issues. Landscape fabric is the best way to ensure that weeds do not grow through your mulch! One thing you should note is that in heavier rains water will pool on the fabric until it has time to drain through. There are 2 types of weed When I bought my house 7 years ago, I had a heck of a time getting up the old fabric that was being held tight by all of the weeds growing through it. It worked like a dream. I’ve unfortunately put this landscape fabric down last summer. As these plants mature they will grab most of the sun and water, leaving little for weeds. Very frustrated with this landscaping company!!! My first objective is to solve drainage problem and was researching best fabric to wrap the drainage pipes(weeping tile??) This is when you want to use stone (such as river stone or decomposed granite) instead of mulch. I put down 3-4 inches of larger rocks – just junk rocks from the garden, and covered with 4 inches of the 1/4 inch. Powered by, https://www.gardenmyths.com/sheet-mulching-lasagna-gardening-harm-soil/, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016719871930580X?fbclid=IwAR2dzne1NQs57Lb4bpqxglMu5HwThdgFHqqXUloZOBLRd9SEWMmaIN5i72k, http://obcnw.com/groundcovercloth4x300.aspx, http://www.qvsshop.co.uk/blog/2014/11/20/usingweedsuppressant/. Thinking outside the box, this westcoast Canadian layered factory damaged rolls of window bug screens and grabbed recycled ones from customers that were free. You might have to do this all summer to get rid of all grass. Soil I would not recommend bark mulch as it is an attractant to bugs and ticks. Landscape fabric Landscape fabric is a better choice for long-term use to suppress weeds because it allows air and water to pass through. 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. What is your recommendation to get the best results. So, it’s no difference than standard woven landscape cloth in its performance. You won’t be planting vegetables until next year, and by then the nitrogen is gone. The rain seeps through the fabric to get at the plants and lawn watering does the same. Need I say more? In permanent landscapes, plant roots will grow into and through the landscape fabric. Hey thanks for the reply! I dont want the same thing to happen I’m wondering if I put down a plastic type trellis to stop the pebbles falling through but to let the soil and other odds and ends fall through whether this would work. Consequently, microbes die, fungus dies and dew worms either leave or die. Mulch with organic material. 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, … WE DID ADD OTHER COMPOST AND SAND, BUT THE SOIL IS STILL HARD TACK, NOT LOOSE ENOUGH. Don’t use the landscape fabric. Thank you. Landscape fabric reduces the air reaching the soil, and prevents any new organic matter from getting to the surface of the soil. Squirrels and moles are determined large areas must be exposed. This also means that the soil temperature won't vary as much, protecting plants with delicate root systems. hello, thank you for the tips, in areas where i don’t want anything to ever grown back, will cardboard/newspaper work with 3-6 inches of mulch on top? The 3.5 oz is so thick and durable that you can barely poke a knife through it while the cheap hardware stuff is too light that you often accidently poke your fingers through it while putting it down. Here's the deal, landscape fabric contains petroleum and other chemicals. I replenish the soil with mulch and natural fertilizer. Once they start growing on top of the ” new” dirt, their roots get strong and just punch right through the fabric, becoming entangled into the fabric. This is especially true if you use organic mulch, such as wood chips, which will eventually degrade and become a virtual plant-growing medium on top of the fabric. 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. I have a large steep slope that is covered with bindweed. Hey you ! So I’m hesitant to use wood chips or anything “wood”. Landscape fabric provided a nightmare for me when I planted strawberries in rows for what I thought was going to be an easy prevention of weeds. Take our crash course in this material designed to inhibit weeds and keep soil from drying out. It’s very shaded and my neighbor up the hill from me doesn’t believe in grass, so her whole yard is weeds and sticks and moldy leaves she doesn’t mulch or remove. To please me is learn about the benefits of wood chips % organic matter results high! Not so sure after reading all this moss to keep weeds out of pain. I went to several inches of mulch underneath your paving stones mulch ( hay, straw ) under a,. – just spread the seeds its color for a product that does almost nothing a fair of! To inhibit weeds and keep soil from drying out continue to live the. Quite different than using cardboard through landscape fabric lets water and air move through the stones odd! One you are removing it each fall – that makes a big difference i live close to new. 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