Garden weeds that just sprout on any area of your landscape are like pesky pests, even if you don’t want them to appear and grow they will surely spread if you don’t do something about it. For this reason, one needs to learn how to install a weed barrier.
Imagine that you have required a professional to do your landscape, making sure that pebbles and different stones are placed carefully to beautify your garden, only to find out after a few months that weeds are growing everywhere. Weeds just cover the beauty of your garden, do not treat them the first time you see them and you will have a problem on your hands.
Some even persist after you treat the area with herbicides. But do not fret because there are ways you can stop this from happening. There are available landscape fabrics in the market and you just have to choose the best and of top quality.
How to Install Weed Barrier?
Remove previously installed landscape fabric
Remove the rocks on top of the fabric first before pulling the fabric underneath. You may use scissors or a knife to cut the fabric, you may also do this in portions if you are having a hard time pulling everything out in one go. Be careful though, because there may exist plants and roots that may have grown over the fabric. Remove the fabric.
Choose a fabric replacement of top quality
Some weed barriers are cheap and too thin to do the job. It tears, and you cannot use it for a long time. Yes, you will save some money buying it, but you will need to replace it, eventually.
A quality landscape fabric is resistant to most damaging factors such as sun damage and lesser wear and tearing. Or should I say a long time to show signs of wear and tear? It can last even up to 18 to 20 years.
Choose a fabric of prime quality, made of synthetic-fiber material that can block the sun but water and the air is passable. Material is tough and sturdy. Priced higher than the generic landscape fabric but will benefit you in the long run cause it will save you money from frequent removal and replacement of landscape fabric.
Eliminate remaining weeds and turfgrass
Make sure you eliminate every weed and extra grass that is not supposed to be there in your garden.
Spray the area with herbicide
Remember that you have to place protection in place so that these unwanted weeds and grasses will no longer return. Some will advise you to patiently pull weeds or dig them one by one, but that does not extinguish the problem.
You may use safe herbicides available in the market, be sure to read the labels first because some supposedly “safe” herbicides can also kill other plants and not just weeds. We consider most of the herbicides in the market useful wherein there is an estimated use of over 1 billion pounds of pesticides used in the US each year and they use almost 6 billion worldwide.
Level the soil
Flatten the surface. If there is soil pooling on one spot, lay it around and it should fill gaps. Place soil where there are holes and such. Remove twigs and unwanted stones scattered around, and the pointed or sharp objects. The reason is that it will make the laying of fabric easier if you level the surface.
Remove any unwanted plants
If you still see any plants that should not be there, also eliminate weeds that persist. You must remove any rocks that are not uniform or considered too large for the area.
Lay the landscape fabric
- Lay the fabric over the area or space.
- Start from one side of the space and make sure that you will mark the part where it will hit a plant existing on the ground.
- Then you cut that part to give way to the existing plant.
- Work your way to the other side of the space.
- You need to leave extra material so there will be enough fabric for when you need to tuck the fabric.
- Make sure that there are no gaps between the edging and the fabric.
Secure the fabric
This is the time to make sure you have secured the fabric on the ground. You may use pins, or fasteners, or any other material that can secure the fabric in place. Keep a uniform distance between the pins or fasteners so that the fabric is in place.
After securing every corner and there are no loose ends, you may place mulch on top. You may choose either inorganic mulch or organic
What are the Pros and Cons of laying a landscape fabric in your garden?
- Prevents weeds and other unwanted plant growth in your garden.
- Lessens your need for herbicides because there is less weed or there is no more new growth of weeds.
- Moisture retention with the help of the fabric.
- Soil is in place and no erosion is possible because of the fabric.
- Although weed seeds are eliminated under the fabric, there is still a possibility of weed seeds being carried by birds or the air and can grow on top of the landscape fabric.
- Natural organic matters such as fallen leaves that can act as fertilizer when it decomposes and is mixed with the soil are no longer possible.
- Earthworms can no longer survive because the surface is covered with fabric making it impossible for them to burrow and aerate the soil. The soil underneath the landscape fabric may sometimes become unhealthy.
- Landscape fabric needs to be replaced now and then, most especially if you have installed the low-cost, less-durable fabric.
So from the above discussion, we have learned how to install a weed barrier. However, landscape fabrics have their advantage and disadvantage and will depend on the users. Some can live without it and some find it hard to have a garden without laying landscape fabric.
But the primary point is the benefit it will give to its users and some of them may think the extra costs won’t matter much compared to having a beautiful and satisfying result of a weedless and clean-looking landscape.