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Install fabric first....or plants?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by turfquip, Jul 2, 2000.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    <br>I rarely use decorative gravel as mulch cover, but this time I am. This job is a new install, and the specs call for a typar type fabric under the rocks.<p>Is it better to install plants, then fabric around them? Or install fabric, cut notches for plant installation?<br>
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Install fabric first, then cut holes for plants. Use 6&quot; staples to hold fabric down. You then can layout the plants on the fabric and adjust them easy, also makes for less holes in fabric.<p>----------<br>paul<br>
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    buy digginf holes in the fabric and putting the dirt on the fabric.... dosnt that defeat the whole purpose of the fabric? If there dirt on the fabric weeds will have something to germinate in...
  4. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    <p>Paul, Thanks. Do you mean to cut an X in the fabric, peel back, then install, or do you cut a circle out of the fabric and leave it out?
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>All I know is I've done it both ways. Fabric first then plants, and also plants first then fabric. <p>Either way, there's no way to avoid the problem of the fabric just being a pain in the @#$^. <p>but, if I had to chose one way, I would install plants first and then the fabric. I hate trying to dig the holes in a &quot;cut out&quot; section of fabric, and you always end up getting dirt on the fabric, with does defeat the purpose somewhat. <p>If I had to say one way, I would plant first and then fabric, but its really one of those &quot;6 one way and a half a dozen the other way&quot; situations. <p>steveair
  6. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    heres my 2 cents worth:<p>I've also done it both ways and I think its easier to lay the fabric first because you just roll it out and pin it. I hated having to stop and cut notches around plants, and I think you leave too many hole in the fabric too. When you cut out for a plant, cut an x, peel it back and carry a piece of tarp or a ive gallon pail or whatever to throw your soil in as you take it out so your not putting it on the fabric, cause yes, it does defeat the purpose!!<p>I'm suprised no body has brought this up before. I had a lady that wanted her money back 2 years after I did an install becuase their were weeds growing threw the fabric......or so she claimed. The truth was she would plant flowers and dig a bunch of new holes every season, and thats where the weeds would come up!! Yeah, my fault right??<p>To solve this problem, If The customer told me they would want to plant flowers in the bed eventually, I would bury five gallon pails or old pots staggered around the bed wherever they anted them, and then marked them with posicle sticks when there weren't flowers in them. This way you used the same hole every year for the flowers instead of ripping up all the fabric.<p>But then you got the guys that swear you don't need fabric with mulch, and I agree and disagree with that too. The mulch seems to keep weeds down a lot more than rock products do, but not 100% Now, I do understand where their coming from, cause I've found over time, the mulch will decompose on top of the fabric and will start growing from there, especially if you get a lot of grass clippings in the beds!<p>Its a no win situation! (unless you have stock in round-up!!!)<p><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/&quot;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I enjoyed reading these posts - I'm surprised the opinions are as varied as they are. 1X I planted after putting down fabric (and stone - customer/friend cuoldn't afford beds and plants at same time). Though we were as careful as could be, we left more dirt in the stones than desired, and of course, weeds resulted.<p>Our typical install has plants first, fabric second. But I like the idea of pinning - what do you use, &quot;U&quot; shaped pins like those for Curlex, or those green plastic thumbtack-looking things? We've just used bits of stone to hold it in place - invariable it moves when tipping your barrel of stone in the bed.
  8. Chris

    Chris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Our choice has always been to do the fabric first, then plants. Our feeling is that fabric will only make the weeds easier to pull out - they are going to grow anyway, and fabric will help keep the stones cleaner; less splash through, etc. The pinning is a good idea. We stumbled on that by accident during a job requiring drip tubes.
  9. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    We use 6&quot; staples for pinning. I like to buy a couple of cases at a time allways have a use for them, holding up fabric on walls rolling out grid material, pinning fabric for beds, erosion control products, holding hoses on hill sides, can't remember all the uses for them, just handy to have around :)<p>----------<br>paul<br>
  10. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I agree that fabric first is usually the best. Another reason is that when putting fabric down after the plants are in usually results in the fabric getting wrapped around the base of the plant. That looks so ugly after the mulch settles a little. Also a question about the 6&quot; staples/pins---are these the same as sod staples? Sounds like the type we use. They are supposed to rust away fairly quickly.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>

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