One of the pressing issues we gardeners face is weeds in the garden.
There are many schools of thought on how to control them, one if which involves using weed control fabric. The question is... should you use these rolls of material in your gardens?
Our opinion is for most uses NO - do not use weed control fabric. There is one circumstance however, where we feel it's necessary. We know this goes against what you may have heard elsewhere, so let us explain.
What we are talking about here is within your flower and landscape gardens, not your vegetable gardens. That's an another topic entirely and beyond the scope of this article.
First, if you don't know what weed control fabric is, let us explain. It's that porous fabric you see in garden centers - usually black - that comes in rolls. You simply roll it out and cover your garden surfaces with this material, then cut slits or holes in the fabric to plant your shrubs or flowers.
Weed control fabric needs to be porous so water can reach the roots of the plants within the garden.
In theory, this method of weed control should cut down on weeds and in practice, it does, for a short time. However, we have a better method that does just as good a job. Read about that in this article HERE.
The 5 Pitfalls Of Using Weed Control Fabric
Here are some downfalls you should know about using this weed control method:
Using Plastic To Control Weeds:
A HUGE no no in our book, we've seen home owners use plastic such as black plastic garbage bags as they would weed control fabric, spreading it within their garden area. I'm not sure why. Maybe they had some laying around the house. Maybe cost was a factor. Whatever the reason, this is not a good option.
First, black plastic is NOT porous. It will not allow water to pentrate the roots of the plants.
Second, black plastic will NEVER break down in the garden and therefore, is bad for the envirnment.
The One Instance When We Do Use Weed Control Fabric
There is one situation when we use this method of weed control and that is, in landscaped areas that are covered with rocks or stone.
Beautiful image, don't you think?
First, and most important, using this fabric is necessary under rocks to give the garden a clean look. Otherwise, spreading rocks directly over the dirt will mean dirt coming through the crevasses and washing out between the rocks and creating an unsightly mess. Plus, dirt washing out will change the elevation of your beds. It just won't look good.
Second, since rock gardens are distrurbed less with new plantings or digging, it's less likely additional holes or slits will happen.
You must be aware though that weeds will STILL GROW in these rock gardens for the reasons we mentioned above. They will however, usually be less pervasive, especially for the first few years.
The Final Answer To The Question About Weed Control Fabric
We've given you reasons why using weed control fabric is not a good idea.
However, using it does control weeds to a point, and for a short period of time. However, you will not eliminate weeds by using it and over time, you'll find more and more weeds will invade your gardens anyway.
So, is it worth it? The choice is up to you.
See our posting HERE where we explain our method for controlling weeds without using weed control fabric. Our method works and works well, so it could be a better option for you.