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thoughts on landscaping fabric under rocks and or mulch

thoughts on landscaping fabric under rocks and or mulch


Old 04-06-19, 03:13 PM
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thoughts on landscaping fabric under rocks and or mulch

Wonder what people think about putting landscaping fabric under areas that have mulch or river rocks?

I was fanatical about doing that 5 -1 0 years ago. But then I noticed that the mulch breaks down so you have a nice layer of dirt ABOVE the fabric.

And with rocks, dirt / leaves / dust falls in there and within a few years, there's enough stuff for weeds to grow in in between the rocks.

So I removed all the landscaping fabric I had already put down and don't use it anymore.

Am I wrong?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-06-19, 03:17 PM
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I don't use mulch but you're right, given enough time, you get dirt no matter what. So why bother doing anything then - just leave the yard dirt and be ahead of the game....
Old 04-06-19, 03:43 PM
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I've dealt with it, and can't think of any circumstances that would cause me to use it. In my opinion it does not keep the weeds out and it's nothing but a pain any time that you want to do anything in that area.
Old 04-06-19, 04:27 PM
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I've done some areas with it and some without. I do have considerably fewer weeds in the areas with landscape fabric under rock and that has held true for years. Under mulch is a tougher one. At first there are dramatically fewer weeds with landscape fabric but after years of mulch decomposing the difference diminishes but there are still fewer weeds in the beds with landscape fabric.
Old 04-06-19, 04:57 PM
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The best part about having landscaping fabric under either one is when you need to pull it back for some reason. Say for example you want to plant a tree. With nothing under the rock, you will be digging rocks out of the dirt which is no fun. But some fabric rots after a few years and it's no good anyway. Thick poly is better but it traps moisture underneath. And there are opinions on both sides. But I do know that no fabric with rock on top is a big hassle when you want to remove and or replant.
Old 04-07-19, 06:16 AM
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I would strongly suggest not using fabric!
I have one customer that did all the landscaping his self and used fabric under the stones and the weeds grow right through the fabric and are near impossable to pull out by the roots.
He now has to pay me every week to pull what I can and spray anything new that pops up.
This year I've spent over 30 hours doing nothing but pulling weeds in this one yard.
If you use recycled tire mulch, pine straw, or pine bark nuggets it will not decompose.
If you use cypress or cedar mulch it will break down far slower and help to keep bugs away.
Old 04-08-19, 06:52 AM
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Thank you all.

Joe - your description is what I've been dealing with also (I could be your customer : )

Yes, those weeds grow right though the fabric anyway.

But realistically, that same area with rock and NO fabric - would the weeds be less than you have now? Or I guess you are saying, they'd be easier to pull out? Although like trying to move rocks seems such a chore, manually pulling weeds in an area like that seems much harder even without fabric... I just spray weed killer?

Yes, I could see that using the fabric keeps the rocks separate from most of the dirt if you need to do things (In 1 area / another question, I am dealing with getting the river rocks out of the dirt.so I can plant.. years ago I removed the fabirc all around the yard because of the weeds / dirt above the fabric. At least now in this area, I think I regret that.).

Pine bark nuggets don't break down? I've gotten into buying 120 bags of cedar? mulch at Home Depot each year when they are running the 5 for $10 sale like this week. Oh gosh, now you have me wondering what to do?!

Old 04-08-19, 07:15 AM
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Want it dark and not break down then use rubber mulch.
Not cheap but it will not break down and have to be redone every year and will not support weeds like wood mulch..
Old 04-08-19, 08:32 AM
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No fabric with wood chips, the whole point is getting a thick layer, 4" min, to choke weeds out.

Rocks yes, they do not choke weeks since you usually only have a couple of inches, and it helps keep them out and from rocks settling into the mud.

You have to use the better week block for stones, if weeds grow through it's the cheap stuff!
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