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landscape fabric

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jrlandscaping781, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. jrlandscaping781

    jrlandscaping781 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    Do you guys use lansdcape fabric under mulch? What is your method for preventing weeds?
  2. Burch's Lawn Care  LLC

    Burch's Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    weeds can grow through the fabric just as easy if you use it or don't i personally don't like it.
  3. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 699

    not under mulch, pita. no real advantages. do use it under rock.
  4. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    I'm old school I use it for retaining walls only, mulch no, rock black 4 mil plastic no weeds for over 35 years. and cheaper.
  5. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    No fabric under bark mulch. As the bark breaks down you will end up with a nice seed bed on top of the fabric after a few years.
    Maintain a 2-3" layer of mulch and avoid disturbing the soil to prevent weeds.
    Sometimes an application of Preen or other labeled pre-emergent prior to bark topdressing is helpful.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    First starting out (6 years ago) we used it, but we only use it under hardscapes now rocks, RR ties, Etc It makes it harder to turn the mulch every year. Preen is a good product and Lesco makes a good product also.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Actually, that's not quite true. If you use a good quality landscape fabric or weed-barrier fabric then actually weeds will not grow through it. At least not for a long time.

    That being said, as soon as you lay anything organic (e.g. mulch, soil, bark, etc.) then the weeds WILL grow on that stuff. So they may not be able to grow deep roots (because the landscape fabric is down an inch or two) but that's okay. Most weeds don't need to grow deep roots. They just need a little bit of soil in the crack of a sidewalk and almost no irrigation and they do great!

    So the next question is, "Then what is landscape fabric good for?" Well, like paolaken said, it's useful under rock. River rock, pea gravel, compacted gravel, etc. As long as the gravel is clean and doesn't have any fines in it, the landscape fabric will be very useful.

    So the final question is, "Then what's the best way to control weeds, in an area where there is organic material like mulch? You need to use a Pre-emergent. Preen is a rather weak variety of Pre-emergents. Go to a landscape or irrigation supply store and familiarize yourself with the cost and use of the stronger commercial grade pre-emergents that are out there. They are pretty effective.
  8. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    I agree with what the other guys have said. I don't use it under mulch. I actually had a good friend call me last year and asked what was a good material to use around his shrubs because he was gonna redo his beds with mulch. I told him not to waste his time or money with that stuff because the weeds will grow in the mulch. He didn't listen so now he has weeds.

    I pulled up some shrubs for a customer last year- she wanted to completely redo her beds. There was fabric already down so we had to pull all of it up. Underneath that fabric were roots from weeds that were still in the soil from when they originally put the fabric down. It looked like some weird creature with tentacles all over the place. The moral of the story is:"Unless the customer is adamant about you using the fabric- don't"
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I use only under rock.
  10. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Preen is definitely a good product and I'd recommend it for mulch beds.

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