Mulch & Landscape Fabric


Old 08-14-11, 07:48 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 117
Mulch & Landscape Fabric

Three years ago (first spring after moving into my house) I cleaned out 20+ years of debris and junk from under my deck, laid down some landscape fabric and covered it with river rock. It has been 99.9% weed-free since then and still looks pretty good.

I have several small gardens around the house that routinely get invaded by weeds. These gardens are a mix of small and medium sized shrubs, small plants, rose bushes, and flowers (mainly orchids and tulips). There are also three established trees, the tallest being 6' tall.

In order to keep myself from spending additional hours weeding, I am considering blanketing the ground with landscape fabric and covering that with either tree root mulch or wood chips. I've spoken with four landscapers who work my neighborhood; two of them say it's a good plan, the others say I should forget the landscape fabric and just lay down the chips/mulch. What say all of you?
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Old 08-15-11, 03:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,563
The only issue I know of with using landscape fabric is sooner or later weeds will come thru in a few places and it's harder to remove the weeds - the roots won't want to come thru the fabric. I usually lay newspaper down and mulch over it. The paper deteriorates and needs to be replaced along with new mulch every year. I'm not trying to say paper is better than landscape fabric, just that's cheap and easy
Old 08-15-11, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Mark is right about the landscape fabric. I use it in all my flower beds and around foundation plantings. The trick is to not allow weeds to get established. In my opinion the benefit of the fabric outweighs that drawback plus your top mulch will last years longer. Without the landscape cloth wood mulch will eventually rot into the soil. I used to replace mulch yearly now I just top dress for color.

I used to mulch the vegetable garden with newspapers but they've become really scarce.

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