• Thankful For Your Family…. Business?
    Landscaping businesses are often family endeavors. While this can combine the best of both worlds (personal and professional), it isn’t always smooth sailing. Click here to read more.

application of fabric on mulch


LawnSite Member
I have a customer that just moved into the house and has fairly bad weed issues in some parts of his beds. the mulch is pretty thin. has anyone had experience with placing fabric over existing mulch, and then placing a few inches on top? I cant think of any problems it woud cause. I know fabric isnt the greaest preventer but it would deffinatly help along with preen, and the customer wants it, and they have the money.... anyone think of any contraindications this could cause? thanks


LawnSite Member
I would not do that .Use a small tiller and till up the beds with the old mulch in it,Till it up good and fine then rake out weeds and clumps. then add new mulch with some preem. don't be cheap with the new mulch lay it down good. Thats the way i do it maybe some one else does it better.

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
DO NOT put down fabric under organic mulch!

Weeds tend to germinate from seed that is blown into the beds. These seeds land on top of the mulch, then germinate. Fabric WILL DO NOTHING to stop this. In addition, fabric prevents the mulch from incorporating into the soil as it decomposes.

If you are putting down an inorganic "mulch" such as rock, then, yes, put down fabric. Otherwise, put nothing under the mulch other than pre-emergent. Snapshot, XL, Preen are all good ones to use, though Snapshot has more restrictions on what it can and can't be used around. Here in Indiana, you need to be a registered applicator to use it too. Contact the Office of the Indiana State Chemist at Purdue to find out more.

Hope this helps. It is up to you to educate your clients on what is the right way to do things. Just because they have the money and want it done a certain way doesn't mean that way is the right way.

Spray the weeds with Roundup (again, you need the pesticide license), wait a day or two, then put down the pre-emergent, and put new mulch down. You really shouldn't need to pull the weeds at all if you spray first. It doesn't gain you anything by pulling/tilling, and it will save the client money.



LawnSite Senior Member
You need to educate your client that the best method to remove the weeds is to apply the mulch with pre - and post emergent control. Snapshot and like preemergents will rid most of your problems. The only time fabric is beneficial is when laying rock, even then over time, chemicals may be needed to control weeds if soil works it way into the bedspace.

Whenever applying chemicals outside ones property or for restricted use pesticides an applicators lic. is required.


LawnSite Member
These guys are right. D Felix, Adlawncutter and bam . using Land Frabric just to cover up a problem is not the answer . Remove the problem and add more mulch to slow down the weed germination. you will never kill out all the weeds . this planet is full of them. Maybe tell them that you have a flower bed contract and can come back twice a month to clean out the beds for the spring -fall? . use this to your advantage .:cool:


Landscape and Lawn Care
Keeping Texas In Style


LawnSite Senior Member
I was just going to type in what Dan said almost verbatum, but then i figured, why bother, he already did....:eek:

anyway, fabric is a pain in the @ss, and when the weeds start coming up a couple of months later, the client thinks we did something wrong. we don't touch the stuff. we do use every opportunity to sell monthly weeding to clients though, as culand suggested.