landscape fabric. to lay or not to lay

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Hunter Landscape, Feb 11, 2001.

  1. Hunter Landscape

    Hunter Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    here in sc the black landscape fabric is pretty popular for the controlling of unwanted weeds, etc. but it is a pain at times for the installation.
    do you all use this fabric often? if so what have you found to be the easiest (if any :)) way to go about this.

    also, are there times when the landscape fabric can be avoided, altogther?

    here in sc, the nutgrass and some other weeds grow through this stuff!!! :)


    any hints / suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I would advise that you avoid using this material. I would guesstimate that you can get about a 6 month life expectancy out of these materials.

    As a tip I would suggest the old fashioned weed and then mulch. If you are concerned you could try treating the bed areas.

    Hope this helps.
    Kris
     
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I've used it on installs in CT and never had anything grow through it. Its not really that bad to lay out untill you get a lot of shrubs and obstacles to go around. It does work though, and saves a lot of work if your putting down decorative stone.

    If your using mulch, theres no point, in my opinion, because when the mulch decomposes, stuff is going to easily grow in the mulch, above the fabric!!


    Another problem we ran into is if we laid the rocks to thin, animals would dig in the beds and rip through the material.

    You make the call, I would use it for decorative stone though, just my 1.9999 cents
     
  4. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Hey Hunter Landscape!
    Welcome to the forum!

    I have found landscape fabric to be very disappointing!
    The nutgrass will grow through it in a matter of weeks!
    And I believe it has to inhibit moisture getting to the roots. Some will get through, but.....

    If mulch is added to bare soil, it eventually decomposes and adds to the soil.
    With landscape fabric, I think the soil misses out on this benefit.

     
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    hello,

    The only situation that I would use fabric in nowadays is a large commercial lot that is not going to be changed often/no annuals planted or large areas of decorative stone without any plants.

    Not going to get into the horticulturally correct thing here, because its 6 one way, half a dozen the other on whether fabric is good or not good for plants/water/roots etc.

    All I know, is I've almost shot myself pulling fabric out of existing beds that the client now wants re-landscaped, and after a few years, weeds tend to grow in mulch on top of it as if it were not even there. I think a good pre-emerge application will work better, and is more cost effective than fabric.

    steveair
     
  6. Forever Green Lawn

    Forever Green Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    I would use a landscape fabric. DeWitt Pro 5 is IMO the best stuff out there. A 3' X 250' roll is about $70.00. Well worth it. Sometimes weeds/grasses grow on top of the fabric and not through it. Happens in bark mulch and sometimes if crushed limestone was used for brickwork.

    Scott
     
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

  8. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I would only use landscape fabric if putting down stone, lava rock, crushed brick and the like. For mulch, definitely not. I have had several jobs where people wanted there landscape changed and it is a huge pain to work with/around when changing or adding plants. Besides if using mulch, how can the degrading mulch benefit your plant material if it can't get into the soil?

    Matt
     
  9. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    One thing that might help in laying it down - something I was taught on this forum last year, is using those big 6" staples you use on sod for slopes or with Curlex. Just pin 'em and it make it much easier.

    But for mulch, we don't lay any fabric down.
     
  10. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    I use it but only in certain areas and then I try to use the commercial grade fabric.It's higher but worth it.Try to double it also.Helps alot in a areas where there is alot of bermuda.But again you make the call because nothing is going to stop the weeds.I just try to dig them out and have a fresh bed to start with.I also use PREEM.Seems to help.
     

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