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Landscape Fabric: What is it and how do you use it?

When looking at options to control weed growth it’s important to look at different aspects like cost, longevity, and functionality. When it comes to trying to control weeds over a large space like a flower bed, or around a planter that contains trees or shrubs, landscapers fabric is usually one of the best options. While there are pros and cons to landscapers fabric, it’s a solid choice when you’re looking for weed control while protecting surrounding vegetation. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about landscape fabric and how to use it to prevent the growth of weeds in your landscaping.

What is landscape fabric?

Professional landscapers, as well as many DIY landscapers, often use landscapers fabric to effectively control weeds while allowing healthy plant growth in the surrounding areas. It is usually a black roll of fabric that allows water to soak through to the surface beneath it, but blocks the growth of weeds. It’s normally something that is covered by mulch, or some other aggregate, so it’s not something that is meant to be seen, but rather something controlling weeds under the surface.

What is landscape fabric used for?

Landscapers fabric is often laid down around trees and shrubs and in garden beds, where the growth and maintenance of certain plants are wanted while blocking out any weeds that may want to pop up from beneath the surface. It’s not meant to be aesthetically pleasing and is meant to be covered with mulch once installed and all plants are planted in their designated spots. It’s a preferred option for those who want beautiful, weed-free flower beds without having to constantly use herbicides to control the weeds. Some additional benefits of landscapers fabric are that it reduces evaporation, promoting soil moisture, and can help with erosion control on slopes that may be affected by heavy rains.

What is landscape fabric made of?

There are different types of landscapers fabric. Commercial landscapers fabric, which is designed more for professional use, is hardier and made of sun-bonded polyester. Woven landscaper fabric is also used commercially, but is different and in that it’s made of polypropylene with a polypropylene “cap”. In addition, it has been needle-punched with polypropylene fibers to allow for better water permeability and material holding ability. The type fabrics are pretty similar and which to choose will simply be a matter of preference. You can find both of the mentioned types of landscapers fabric in our store.

What is the best landscape fabric?

The key to purchasing the best landscapers fabric is to make sure that you’re buying commercial, or professional, grade landscape fabric. The cheaper versions that are found in many garden centers tend to be less hearty and will not last you nearly as long. When purchasing your landscaper fabric, consider what you’re using it for and make the decision based on the features needed. For example, woven landscape fabric is best for flower beds and areas around plants due to the ability to allow more water through, while a sturdier, nonwoven option can be used for gravel pathways. If you’re not sure which is best for your use, consult with your local garden center.

How much is a roll of landscape fabric?

A small roll of landscapers fabric can cost you as little as around $20, so it’s not an expensive investment. However, unless you’re only installing it on a very small area, you’re likely going to need multiple rolls or larger rolls. In our store, you can find rolls anywhere from 3 feet x 50 feet all the way up to 12 feet x 300 feet.

Will landscape fabric kill grass?

When used properly, landscape fabric will kill the grass. If this is something you’re trying to do due to unwanted grass, or grass that is inundated with weeds, you can use landscape fabric to kill the grass. It’s an alternative to those who want to avoid using herbicides to kill grass or grassy weed growth to avoid harming any surrounding plants.

How to prevent weeds without toxic chemicals?

If you’re trying to prevent weeds in your planters, but still want to be able to grow flowers, shrubs, and trees, then using herbicides isn’t always the best option as it would harm the surrounding plants. In addition, many people try to avoid using chemicals that may be harmful to the environment long-term, and in this case, landscapers fabric can be an ideal choice.

How do you install landscapers fabric?

Prepare the land by removing all weeds, vegetation, grass, etc. that will be underneath the landscaper’s fabric.
Level the soil so that you have a smooth surface to lay the landscaper’s fabric.
Lay down the landscaper’s fabric. Any areas where you need to lay two pieces together should be overlapped by at least six inches to ensure there is no gap in between.

  • Ensure that there are about 2 inches of excess around the edges that can be tucked in.
  • Secure the landscaper’s fabric with staples to ensure that it stays in place.
  • Create an X at any spot where you plan to plant any flowers, bushes, or trees
  • Plant in all of the marked areas
  • Once everything is in place you can add a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch.
  • Make sure that you add enough to fully cover the landscaper’s fabric to prevent it from degrading.

How long does landscapers fabric last?

While it will vary based on the situation and the type of landscapers fabric used, many quality landscapers fabrics can last up to 20 years. However, consider that this life expectancy is within ideal conditions such as making sure it is always covered by at least 3 inches of mulch to protect it from degradation.

If you’re trying to prevent weeds from popping up in your garden beds or other landscaped areas, landscaping fabric is a popular option. While it cannot prevent 100% of weed growth, it will tremendously reduce the number of weeds that you will have to tackle.

See Also: landscape Fabric Tutorial

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