The Pros and Cons of Preventing Weeds with Landscape Fabric

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Landscape material, also called weed barrier material, is a go-to weed prevention important for a lot of a gardener. When you’re contemplating utilizing weed barrier fabric, you could have some questions on its effectiveness. Does it actually stop weeds? Is it well worth the bother of putting in? Briefly, the reply is determined by a number of elements, together with the quantity of time you usually spend within the backyard. Kate right here, and I’ve xeriscaped two areas of my outside house, one with weed barrier material and one with out. At the moment I’m sharing some of my gardening experiences with you as we discover the professionals and cons of panorama material… [photo by Rich Radford, from The Garden Route Company]

Weed barrier fabric on a garden pathway

The Pros of Landscape Fabric

If all goes properly with your panorama material, it has the facility to scale back the quantity of time spent weeding within the backyard. When you’re not somebody who enjoys gardening and yardwork, panorama material could also be possibility for you. [photo from Lynda Makara]

Roll of weed barrier fabric

When you’re somebody who likes to decide and stick with it, you may additionally respect the possibility to panorama your yard as soon as and get pleasure from your design with out the concern of altering it up in a major approach. [from Folia Horticultural + Design]

Front entyway crafted with the help of weed barrier fabric

To not point out, panorama material is right for xeriscaping, particularly when gravel is concerned (in the event you cowl it with mulch, the mulch can break down and flip into topsoil, leading to new plant progress). Who desires to spend time pulling weeds from the gravel or mulch as soon as it’s in place?

Landscape Fabric Cons

If weed barrier material prevents weeds, what could possibly be the doable drawbacks to this beneficial instrument? For one factor, weed limitations don’t all the time stop weeds. Whereas some gardening specialists declare they don’t work, I’ve discovered them to be extra useful than if I hadn’t used something in any respect. And any time that you just don’t need to spend within the backyard pulling weeds is time you possibly can spend making your yard particular in different methods.

Weeds poking through the landscape fabric

Nevertheless it’s inevitable that some weeds will peek by way of the fabric, particularly because the gravel or mulch over the material begins to skinny, or if the mulch breaks down and soil/different particles collects on high of it, mainly creating a brand new topsoil. And might we speak about how ugly the weed barrier material seems to be when it begins to re-emerge?! It’s not enjoyable strolling out to my gravel backyard and seeing this:

Weed barrier fabric rears its ugly head

It’s clear I want extra gravel, so some of this poking by way of will be prevented, however do not forget that panorama material does NOT equal a no-maintenance yard! As you possibly can see, there are a lot of leaves (and different particles) that must be faraway from the gravel. Some may argue that with the quantity of time it takes to keep up any yard or backyard, it is probably not that large of a deal to tug weeds whilst you’re at it!

Weed barrier fabric sticking up through the gravel

Weed barrier also can stop new plant progress for the crops you truly need! I’m already regretting utilizing weed barrier material in my outside house stuffed with Blue Agave crops. There are sometimes pups that shoot off from the primary plant and emerge by way of the soil. They’re simple to take away in the event you don’t need them, however now it will likely be tough for them to make an look as a result of of the panorama material. This backyard actually may have used some new progress. Blue Agave offshoots would have been a welcome addition!

Blue agave in a gravel garden

Lastly, utilizing a weed barrier could make change tough. See the inexperienced flag rising from the bottom within the photograph under? That’s the place our termite man buried a cylinder of bait to assist stop wood-eating pests. Each time he involves verify it/dig up the cylinder, he has to verify he doesn’t dig a gap too large, because the weed barrier will get in the way in which of the shovel. To not point out, every time I need to plant something new, I’ll need to deal with the landscaping fabric and lower a brand new gap to make room. Not a extremely large deal, however sort of annoying!

Gravel garden weed blocker woes

Do I remorse placing a weed barrier fabric on this backyard? A little bit bit. However all in all, it’s in all probability saved me rather a lot of time. Plus, I positively want so as to add a pair extra inches of gravel to make the weed barrier simpler. That is my downside, not the fault of the weed blocker!

Blue agave in a graveled garden

A Backyard With out Landscape Fabric

When you determine to make use of weed barrier material, there are methods you possibly can enhance its effectiveness, equivalent to utilizing an satisfactory layer of gravel on high. Plus, changing the weed barrier material because it weakens will be useful. However what in the event you determine to go with out panorama material. Is it doable?

Pea gravel, yucca and blue agave

Briefly, sure. I simply added gravel to a terraced space of my outside house, and I made the choice NOT to make use of a weed barrier first. Why? As a result of it’s a LOT of work. As a result of I do know I in all probability received’t substitute it repeatedly.

Silver falls dichondra in a graveled terraced yard-001

As a result of I like including new crops to my outside house, and it will likely be simpler to take action WITHOUT  a weed blocker.

Graveled area without landscape fabric

As a result of I actually don’t thoughts pulling weeds (are you able to see the grasses poking by way of the gravel within the photograph above?)!

Graveled area without weed blocker fabric

As a result of I would like crops like my Blue Agave to have the ability to broaden (and develop new pups) with out being stifled or strangled.

Color Guard Yucca in a graveled yard

And since possibly I like a problem!

Yucca in a terraced yard

Having gone by way of the difficulty of placing down a weed blocker and then having to take away it for dwelling restore causes, I feel I’m performed making an attempt to regulate the crops that sprout up in my outside house. Plus, the gravel itself has performed job of blocking heavy weed progress. Normally after a giant rain, many weeds pop up on this space of the yard, however it hasn’t been too dangerous since I added the gravel! Perhaps landscaping material wasn’t as needed for this space as for different areas of my yard.

Blue agave plant in a graveled yard

Remaining ideas?! In my view, right here’s the decision: Landscape material will be useful, particularly in the event you’re an individual who doesn’t get pleasure from gardening (aka, you hate pulling weeds), and in the event you’re prepared to verify the material is put in correctly and up to date as wanted. 

Blue agave plant in gravel

When you do determine to take the panorama material plunge, seek the advice of an expert to make sure that you’re laying the groundwork correctly, so to talk! And don’t overlook to have enjoyable in your backyard this fall…

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