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What is landscape fabric?

Landscape fabric is a material placed around trees, flowers or shrubs to stop weeds and promote plant growth, without chemicals. It blocks sunlight so weeds can't grow, but it's also permeable so air and moisture can nourish your plants. Professionals have used it for years, and now it's growing in popularity among home gardeners and landscapers.

installing landscape fabric, step 1

installing landscape fabric, step 2

installing landscape fabric, step 3

installing landscape fabric, step 4

1. Remove grass and weeds, rake area.
2. Unroll fabric and cut as required to fit around plantings.
3. Secure fabric with Anchor Pins.
<4. For a professional, finished look, install mulch, bark or stones.

Is landscape fabric really better than plastic?

Yes! While black plastic does stop weeds, it also keeps air and water away from the soil, so plant-killing diseases develop. Landscape fabric blocks weeds, but its permeability allows the proper balance of air, water and nutrients into the soil. As a result, plants can grow up to twice the size of plants grown without fabric.

Are there different qualities in the fabrics available?

Yes. Research shows that woven polypropylene (the heavier the better) is best for stopping weeds and promoting growth. Some manufacturers cut corners by just punching holes in plastic. The better fabrics on the market are UV-treated to withstand the sun's decomposing effects. A rule of thumb: see the fabric's guarantee. The longer it is, the better it is.

Will weeds grow on top of the fabric?

Weeds will grow anywhere there is an organic environment present that will allow germination. If wind blows soil and seeds onto the surface of any fabric or mulch covering there is the possibility of weed growth. Mulch itself will eventually break down and create a soil-like environment for weed seed germination. Solution: Quick application of systemic herbicide and later application of early spring or late fall pre-emergence herbicide. Follow the directions on the label.

What if weeds grow under or through the fabric?

The primary causes are improper fabric application and sometimes extremely stubborn perennial weeds or grasses. Be sure to follow the recommended fabric application directions to fully cover the entire area. In the rare case of particular weeds actually growing under or through the fabric, a herbicide application may be needed. Solution: Application of herbicides may be necessary in particular installations. The use of a plant fabric will prevent most weed growth and limit the need for chemicals. 

I have put landscape fabric down and water is not going through. Why?

The manufacturers put a coating on the material to make it roll better. After 24-48 hours, this will break down and the water will go through normally.

How far apart should I space my anchoring pins?

Generally, every 3 to 5 feet apart is sufficient.

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