Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
As I get ready for spring, I am wondering if I need to put landscape fabric down before I mulch my gardens?
I would strongly recommend that you not use landscape fabric!
One of the biggest myths perpetuated on consumers is
the need for landscape fabric to prevent weeds in their
gardens. Even inexperienced landscape companies routinely use
it. Not only is it a waste of your money, it doesn't work and
actually makes the job of weed removal mulch harder not to
mention the fact that it looks terrible. Ultimately, using
it just adds more plastic to landfills.
Landscape cloth or weed barrier is
generally a porous plastic or a fiber material that is widely
available in home improvement stores and garden centers. While
weeds may have a tough time growing up through it, virtually
100% of weed seeds are airborne and germinate and take
root from above the barrier. The weeds then grow down and
through the barrier, creating a major problem in removing them.
Weeding them tears the fabric and makes it a worthless mess.
If you have fabric down now, rip it out because it'll just get
tougher to get out in the future and if you are not using it don't.
Also the roots of the plants planted in the garden bed tend to
grow just under the barrier and not deep into the ground. The
deeper the roots are growing in the soil the higher the survival
rate during a drought.
The absolute best approach to weed control is to use a
thick (4") layer of natural (not dyed) shredded brown mulch. (See
my article several weeks ago about the risks of using
colored dyed mulch - don't use it). With a thick layer of natural
mulch, the few weeds that make it through can be easily weeded out.
Sprigs & Twigs never uses weed cloth or fabric and
never uses dyed mulch, Beware of those companies that do.
If you like to do your own mulching, Sprigs & Twigs is now selling
bulk deliveries of safe organic brown, natural mulch,
delivered to you in 10 yard loads or more @ $35/yard
delivered. Call the office to order.
If we can help you with any of your landscape needs, including
mulching, feel free to call.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.