And you’re right, that wouldn’t be very Zen-like…. I don’t worry about “doing as well as they should”. I paid for a nearly maintenance free landscape and now I have tons of weeding grass to do. I would use Roundup. This medium-duty weed barrier is thin for such projects, but still tough enough to last. Besides are you gonna lay 4″ of mulch underneath your paving stones. Use some not so common sense people. In permanent landscapes, plant roots will grow into and through the landscape fabric. Thanks for the article…I have a garden about 30′ x 15’…I’m looking to downsize the garden and utilize say only about 10′ x 15′ the other 20′ x 15′ I want to cover & not grow anything & not have any weeds sprout…I’m looking for something simple to accomplish this goal..I was thinking of buying some contractor grade fabric landscape fabric to cover the part of the garden I will no longer be using…What would be you’re recommendation for my goals? My hubby got our stuff from work for free, (commercial construction), and this stuff is like woven tarp material. The key is that it is organic, and that it is local. Are you suggesting to go with a thicker gravel and drop the fabric? They won’t hurt dogs. Pull all the weeds first, then set your stones, then keep up with it. We’ll clue you in on the pros versus cons, explain how to pick the best product, and share tips on using it most effectively. Limitations of Landscape Fabric. Tell me how that gets enforced. If you’re landscaper used the professional grade material, then you should be fine. What else do you suggest? Do you have any other recommendations? We just bought the house – the last owners planted the dreaded think, which has now spread 20′ in all directions as well as to the neighbours yard. I bought a house that has stones lining the back of the house. Hello, I’m new here, just stopped in to read an article about Blossom End Rot on tomatoes, which was great, and then noticed the articles on the right, and was curious if the articles on landscape fabric, and ‘DEET’ are as holistic as the BER article. Plants grown from seed were potted up and grown to a decent size before planted into the mulch. The tree roots have less competition for space and nutrients. I was thinking of putting down weed barrier fabric and covering with washed rock. 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. Please let me know. It was meant to last one season and then decay, which it did. Will recread my notes. 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.. Best of luck…if this works for your readership we all win with shared information. We have about 3-4 inches of mulch on top. x. I generally agree with your opinion on landscape fabrics… Weeds will grow on top of it or around it. When we didn’t use the cloth, it would take several weeks to pull out the weeds and wild grasses that grow in over the winter. Maybe. 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. Just spent $20,000 plus on landscaping and he put weed barrier cloth everywhere. Or kill the grass first and then add the mulch. Landscape fabric is really only good for one application. I have a slope in front of my house and had no success at a lawn. The quality of the landscape fabric—and good installation practices (discussed below)—will determine how long will last, but it’s not a miracle product. They all say they are air permeable – and they are to some extent, but less than no fabric at all. Small holes allow the water to slowly seep into the The needle is inserted repeatedly at different locations around the plant. I would not worry about them. I doubt that the cloth kills bindweed in a path – it will just find another place to grow it’s green stems. is gone. In no time at all you have the perfect seed mix sitting right above the weed barrier, and weeds start to grow. Or leave the leaves in the garden whee they belong. If you use a couple of inches of manure and compost, and cover with straw, that will kill the existing grass. In way too many cases when we arrived to re-landscape a home the very first thing that we had to deal with was weed barrier cloth that was practically welded to the ground because there were so many weeds growing through the fabric that removing the weed barrier fabric was a nightmare of a job. Hey you ! It can travel a long distance under ground. Innovative and creative, this man layered bug screens (three sheets thick) on top of each other, and buried them out of sight and covered them with lava rocks or drain rock. I just found this new research ( which demonstrates just how badly landscape fabric blocks gas exchanges and fails to live up to all of its claims. Same with a $100 roll and a $10 roll. blocker material. Don’t use landscape fabric – see the post! Very reluctant to use herbicide to kill the grass, even if it is a relatively small area. Would you say I should put down wood chips or newspaper first and then put the layer of rock over this or just put the rock down on it’s own? A little bit of weeding in cut holes the first year. Wood chips have not been found to be toxic – even walnut wood can be used without problems. If you understand Roundup you would not be surprised. As a long term solution plant a ground cover that takes no effort and lets in no weeds. I am only concerned with are they doing well enough to please me. Your gravel needs to be protected so it can permeate the water through it. This is the fabric I use to great success. I couldnt agree more. After some research for a Japanese dry garden I found out that what they use are 1/4 inch irregular rock. If you use a thin cover of mulch, weeds do not grow in the mulch because it is just too dry there. What if I use this type of fabric instead of the plastic weed barrier? Many perennial weeds can grow quite a distance under ground and since landscape fabric comes in 3 and 4 foot wide roles they only need to grow a few feet to find an opening. He was making me a seed mat for wild flowers. 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. 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. The weed shoots emerged after a year, but were harder to pull 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. I covered the ground with this fabric 1st In zone 5 I recommend Geranium Geranium macrohizum. If they grow and flower you know they are doing well. I noticed in several replies you mentioned wood chips. You might need to wait until the grass is big enough to absorb enough chemical, but it works 100% My irrigation, aeration, and feeding are controlled with a 32-channel I/O card, zone valves and moisture sensors. Soil should not have more than 5% organic matter. As your plants become larger and take up more of the original planting area, it’s impossible to work compost around the bases. 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. I want to lay a dog run beside my house. 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. Nitrogen is the one nutrient that moves very quickly in soil. We need to move beyond that idea. In my case, I gots rolls of it for free and they were happy to get rid of it. I mulched with woodchips and found that after two years it was great soil for weeds. And for protecting the environment. Do you have a scientific study that shows how well water flows through such a thick layer? Landscape fabric itself is costly. The rest of the stuff in the rock garden will be in containers. Usually my dogs don’t get in the area, but if they do with the stuff hurt them. The best thing for trees and shrubs is to leave the soil alone and get them to grow in it. 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. However, strong perennial weeds will eventually grow through or around it. Dont WASTE your money on weed cloth. My question is can u water from top as plants look like they need water. Next year, I’ll go with layered cardboard with a wood-chip mulch (the latter for aesthetic reasons since I have neighbors). 3) Hand digging – its work, but it does work. You Are Eating Poisonous Fruits & Vegetables Even If They’re Organic! Natural organic mulch, such as fallen leaves or pine needles, cannot replenish nutrients in the soil because the fabric acts as a barrier. How do you measure their activity and populations? It is not biodegradable unless it is specifically labeled & has additives to allow it to break down – so it wouldn’t be pure PP. Does it let water through to the plants? No, two completely different products altogether. Laying sections shingle fashion, I then cover with collected leaves–4 to 6 inches. Best to remove all the parts of plastic I find? What is the best weed PREVENTATIVE in a vegetable garden? Don’t know if it is zenning – but I hate the stuff too. Smaller trenches are normally around 5 to 6-inches. Just another thought: all that compost, manure, etc. The weed barrier in the blog is quite different than using cardboard. What’s the ideal solution? Thank you! This is also how I use landscape fabric. 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. 21 Common Indoor Plant Myths – That Save You Time and Money. It is a myth to suggest either product would kill insects in the ground unless you laid it in a cube they will just crawl around it. I thought landscape fabric would be preferable to black plastic, allowing the earthworms and microbes to continue to live in the soil. Durable and Long Lasting I just pulled up the fabric I placed this past spring in the walkways around my raised garden beds. Earthworms aerate the soil, so, without them, the ground beneath landscape fabric can become compact and unhealthy. I use it to maintain weed free low maintenance rows between berry rows. The sad thing is lava rock is expensive but it retains its color for a long time. I have used wet cardboard layers with wood shavings on top to suffocate bindweed with much success. Offers some erosion control on slopes subject to washout from heavy rains. Not sure what duck fabric is, but any material used in the same way as landscape fabric will have similar issues. I use it to maintain weedfree low maintenance rows between raised beds. Thank you so much for keeping gardeners honest! I’ll stick to several inches of wood chips which work great. Glyphosate, aka Roundup is extremely safe and will kill the grass. 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. 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