Flower bed: use landscape fabric or just plain mulch?

Zone 5 (Southern New England).
While renovating a flower bed a previous owner had put in, but it's my first time, so and I'm wondering whether to use landscape fabric to prevent weeds, or just go with mulch instead. Any opinions?
If I put landscape fabric I'd probably put a layer of much to hide the fabric anyway.
How does one go about fertilizing and amending the soil if fabric is used? I've read it's beneficial to lay down a few inches of shredded leaves before winter sets in and I'm wondering if that means landscape fabric would be more trouble than it's worth? Is it supposed to be removed and replaced every so often?
FWIW, the lawn that's near this flower bed has weeds -- all kinds, I can identify only dandelion, clover and maybe creeping charlie.
Thanks,
-- Himanshu
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My cousin lived here before I bought the house from my Mother. He had a landscaping business and put landscape fabric everywhere. Darn near impossible to plant anything as the stuff is impossible to put a shovel through and a pain to get down on hands and knees to cut with a knife. Besides, the weeds and grass grow on top of the stuff, anyway. It was popular in Arizona where I lived for a while and it only kept the weeds away for a year or two and then they grew in the dirt that had settled on top of the stuff. I would never use it and wish I could figure some way to remove it easily.
Tom G.
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Landscape fabric has small pin holes that allow water & nutrients to pass through but too small for roots. It does a good job to prevent weeds from sprouting underneath, but does not stop running weeds/ grasses from coming over the top. However those are easy to pull out since they cannot take root in the fabric. A thin layer of pine straw over the fabric hides it, holds it in place, and takes longer to compost into soil.
Red
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I'd vote for mulch, which will not only keep down the number of weeds but also make any that come up very easy to remove. My problem with landscape cloth is as someone else has written, once it's down it's not that easy to add new plants, transplant out of the bed, etc., plus you still have to mulch over it.
You'll want to have several inches of mulch, and you'll have to renew it occasionally. I have a fairly extensive garden area, so I have the electric company, tree trimmers, etc., dump their good wood chips at my place -- I get the free mulch and they don't have to take them to the dump or pay for their disposal.
Regards --
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Himanshu wrote:

Thanks TomG, Red and JimR.
This time I did go with the landscape fabric (I had already bought it and cut it out...). It certainly made placing plants a little difficult although, it may have been my inexperience in using it.
For some sections (e.g. where the annuals are) I had to cut out chunks for the fabric to get the bunch in easily. Next year I plan to add some bulbs and I think the fabric would just make it more difficult than necessary.
Lesson learned.
-- Himanshu
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I've done both, and generally regret everywhere I used landscape fabric. It makes any changes a pain, I think it makes a lot of water run off rather than soak in, and ends up costing $$$. I used it in a bed or two up front that basically had 3 big hostas all by themselves, and I didn't want anything else. The edges poke up after freezing, and the bark mulch slides around.
The other beds I just used a couple of inches of mulch, and they look just as good. And if I decide to add plants, I just brush the mulch aside, plant, and brush back.
Unless you are talking about a *permanent* bed for a couple of large shrubs that will never see anything else, skip the fabric.

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