Landscape fabric won’t end your weeds.
Weed barrier (aka landscape fabric or weed cloth) sounds like the perfect solution for reducing garden maintenance. Unfortunately, it isn’t. And, it can even cause more headaches and ugliness than you might imagine.
Cutting holes in your landscape fabric to plant?
Stop. Don’t do it!
If you drape weed barrier all over your garden planting beds and then cut holes into that barrier to plant, you’re inviting multiple problems. The reality is, your new plantings likely won’t thrive. But odds are the weeds still will do just fine despite the landscape fabric you invested in.
So, what happens when your garden meets weed cloth?
Perennials and ground covers will try to spread as they mature. Either the weed barrier will strangle them or they’ll pop new holes in the barrier or they’ll spread under the barrier, heaving it skyward for all to see.
Trees and shrubs may send up suckers that pop holes in the barrier or, as their trunks widen, the weed barrier may strangle them.
Plus, every hole you make in the barrier is an opportunity for those sneaky weeds to gather sunlight and thrive.
And, when water meets landscape fabric?
And all of this assumes that the barrier doesn’t keep water from getting to your plant roots. Yep, any material — even permeable materials — can deter water from seeping downward. So, weed barrier may stop or limit rainfall and irrigation water from making it to your plants’ roots. And, in some situations, it might even lead to runoff and erosion issues as well.
Want to learn more about working with garden fabrics?
In our online learning programs, we’ve teach a lot of lessons around gardening solutions that have proven to work better than garden fabric. You can take a deeper dive into learning more about the problems we’ve encountered with this product. (Like how it kills Earth.) And, we’ll even share some situations where this garden cloth and some others may actually be appropriate.
What about using landscape cloth with gravel?
If you’re looking for information about working with gravels and pebbles, that’s a whole other discussion. Learn more in our article about garden gravels here..