I bought some because a landscaper relative said it was better than
plastic - kept weeds down but didn't block flow of water to soil.
Had a yard party - several friends came over and redid a rose bed -
took out the weeds and dirt, smoothed down area, installed landscape
cloth, re-covered with dirt. Looks gorgeous!
Comes my gardener and says that this doesn't work. Weeds come
up anyway, and are harder to pull out because stuck in the cloth.
Any wisdom out there?
On Tue, 07 Mar 2006 19:13:11 -0800, persephone wrote:
I would agree with your gardener. I find weed cloth to be more work than
it's worth. Many folks use it under mulch, ground tree bark or wood chips
which seems to defeat the purpose IMHO. I recommend using weed fabric
under rock or paver slabs but never for any area that will have organic
matter piled on top of it seasonally.
Common sense would dictate that over time the weed fabric would get buried
deeper and deeper. The fabric has become useless at weed control and
now could hinder root development of other trees and shrubs. These roots
will have a harder fight to 'rise' in the flower bed as the mulch
Or, and I've seen this happen too many times, the organic material on top
depletes faster than it's replaced, and you end up with the fabric --
usually tattered edges -- sticking up, looking ugly as all hell.
I use multiple layers of newspaper -- at least 8 layers thick, and
overlapping. It cuts off the light so annual seeds don't germinate, and
makes it difficult for grass runners to sprout, too. Tough perennial weeds
with big tap roots can sometimes make it through, and some small weeds may
germinate in the organic material on top of the newspaper. But those are
very minor problems, and quite easy to control.
Eventually the newspaper decomposes, so it doesn't get in the way of
intentional plantings. But by the time that happens, the weeds, while not
totally eliminated, are easily controlled. And if you let it get away from
you, five or six years down the line you can repeat the process. That's
generally longer than the cloth fabric will last before you're going to want
to just pull it all up.
Now that it's down, you might as well let it there. If you're not ready to
pull it up next year, you'll be ready the following year.
Landscape fabric is good thing to have under any bed.
When you put down you need to cover it with six inches of mulch or
This will not eliminate weeds forever but pulling weeds out of six
inches of mulch is much easier than pulling them out of deep soil. The
best part is that the weeds cannot go any deeper than six inches.
The experinenced gardeners that have many more years experience than me
have told me that landscape fabric is worthwhile.
Chuckie in the beutiful north, zone 5 (I can see spring!!)
Your gardener is right. A few years down the road, you'll have a worse
time removing grass or weeds. They become hopelessly entangled, and
you'll need a really sharp knife, or a lot of muscle to remove the mess.
Last summer my daughter moved into a home where the grass was starting
to grow into the flower bed. You couldn't tell the previous owners had
used the fabric in the bed. I pulled out my trusty shovel from the back
of the truck, and tried to edge it. A few days later, with the help of
my grown son, we were able to edge the small flower bed, after removing
most of the rose bushes and plants from the tangled mess.
If that is so would a biodegradable weed mat prove sufficient? Grass,
cardboard or even old carpet should do the trick to surpress weeds but
slowly rot and avoid the root problem. My wife used layers of newspaper and
some old carpet to surpess oxalis and it has worked very nicely. A week or 2
when I dug some mulch into that garden I pulled up the odd mix of root and
old carpet however the carpet had significantly degraded. Had I left it in a
year or 2 more it would be gone.
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