What is the proper use of weed prevention fabric in a landscape?
Landscape weed prevention fabric has long been a debated topic amongst serious gardeners. Most people who take gardening very seriously will attempt to detour you using fabric under the mulch in your landscape.
So what's really going on? Is landscape fabric really that bad? Should it be used in my landscape? Does it really matter if I use it or not?
OK! So let's get down and dirty with the topic.
Weed prevention is one of those things we all would love to have done permanently. I mean really! If you could get rid of weeds completely wouldn't that be something for which to strive? But, does this "miracle fabric" really prevent weeds?
Your typical landscape bed will sprout weeds from seeds which come from two very important places. The first is the seeds which are already in your soil. That's right, no amount of tilling or soil prep will completely eliminate weeds from coming up in your soil. However, a thick layer of mulch will keep these weeds from germinating, especially with good soil prep.
So what's the second place weed seeds originate?
The second place is out of the sky. Seemingly out of thin air. However, it's more of seeds which are blown around by the wind, and end up landing in your landscape beds.
These seeds are nearly impossible to prevent, and will not be prevented from growing with landscape fabric.
Just when you thought landscape fabric was completely useless, I'd like to share a few good uses for it.
If your new landscape bed has struggled with weeds for a long time, weed fabric can be helpful if you are unsure about how to prep your soil properly. However, do keep in mind; grasses, such as Bermuda Grass grow deep under ground in search of daylight. This means, if you apply weed fabric over the top of Bermuda, you will soon discover the grass growing out the top of your bushes. The Bermuda will eventually infest the roots of your shrubs and be impossible to remove.
Another place landscape fabric is put to good use is under gravel walks, and pathways. This can help you get a jump on weeds, and also prevent you rocks from sinking deep in to the soil.
And last but not least, don't forget the natural break down of mulch settling down into your landscape soil is actually good for it. The use of fabric can prevent the mulch form providing much needed nutrients to your plants roots.
Hope this was helpful to everyone, we'd love to hear your experiences with weed prevention fabric.