Weed Barrier Fabric

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimLewis, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    In my experience, weed barrier fabric does little to nothing to prevent weeds when you place mulch, barkdust, dirt, or anything organic on top of it. I find it to be only effective when clean gravel or river rock is placed on top of it.

    It seems that weeds can grow on even the 1" of soil or mulch that's on top of the fabric.

    Anyone else concur / disagree?
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    my thoughts exactly. i used to use fabric on all mulch jobs. it only makes matters worse. going back now to do "bed maintinance" is a pain. u r better off advising them on no fabric, and doing bed maint each spring(pre-em, re-edging, feed for the shrubs) its a nice money maker and it keeps the beds nice. i admit it, I WAS WRONG, again
  3. Harvestman

    Harvestman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    I also agree. I hate this stuff.I find that a lot of homeowners like it and ask to have it installed. No way I just won't do it. After you educate them is usually is not a problem.
  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    I agree it's a waste of money.......but sometimes you have to make the customer happy! Now If they want it and you've explained all the problems and troubles it causes, then increase your maintance price on the beds and let them live with it.

    A fool and his money are soon parted:)
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I agree. I can almost always talk a customer out of it. But like Paul said, "A fool and his money...". I learned long ago that sometimes you just gotta do what the customer wants you to do or you won't get their money.

    As soon as I get a digital camera I am gonna start taking pictures of places where you can see the weed barrier showing everywhere and weeds are all over the place. Then I'll show all these pictures to people and see if they still want it.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I hear ya Jim...biggest waste of money in the biz. If a customer starts talking about, I pretend I'm not listening or I start turning my head from side to side.
  7. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    I absolutely hate the weed fabrics. They are absolutely useless, and the weeds will sprout in no time. I sprinkle some preen down before i mulch and lay the mulch on 2 inches deep and never have problems.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    mdb, you use Preen? That is really more of a homeowner thing. You should look into Cassaron 4G (not the cheap 1G stuff they sell in stores), Pendulum 2G, Snapshot, Surflan, and other pre-emergents.

    Get to know them and which ones to apply in which areas. Cassaron 4G, for instance, is great for some areas but should never be used anywhere uphill of a lawn.

    Find a local landscape supply or turf supply store and ask them to educate you about these. Preen is kinda the bottom of the line in pre-emergents.

    Also, these products should be applied on top of the mulch usually, not 2" down.

    Just FYI, FWIW.
  9. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    Thanks for the tip jim. I just use preen because im not certified in fertilizing agents and such; i just give a local guy all my fertilizing customers. When i get out of college next year im planning on taking the test to get certified. the stuff seems to work good though when i put it under the mulch? thanks for the pointers.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    You should really go over your state's guidelines for applying this kind of stuff.

    I am not licensed to apply this stuff either but in our state at least, we don't have to be licensed to apply herbicides. Just for pesticides.

    And even for pesticides there are clauses for cases in which a license is not required. One of them reads "Persons who do not advertise themselves as being in the business of applying pesticides but whos main or principal work or business is the maintenance of small or home lawns, shrubs, or gardens." It goes on to say...."Some landscape companies may fall under this exemption if no restricted use pesticides or machine powered equipment are used and the income generated from pesticide application is minor compared to total business (10% or less). The use of pesticides cannot be specified in advertisements, contracts or invoices."

    So we just make sure that we stay within these guidelines. I'll never get a license unless it's absolutely necessary.

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