Mexican Beach Pebbles installed without weed fabric

Landscape Fabric FAQ - When to use Weed Cloth

Jul 30, '20

Clients often wonder when it is best to use Weed Cloth/Landscape Fabric. It can be a helpful tool when installing your newly designed landscape project. Here are a few key points to consider if it is necessary for your design.


Quality Selection Tips:

  • Landscape fabric is a weed barrier, but not all weed barriers are landscape fabric.
  • Choose a perforated non-woven geosynthetic textile fabric that is guaranteed for 10 plus years. 
  • Do not use plastic! It doesn't allow water or nutrients into the soil and will degrade very quickly if exposed to any sort of sunlight.
  • Don’t choose the cheap stuff that will only last a season.  It will tear easily and you'll end up replacing it sooner than later.

Reasons to Use:

  • Helps to deter weeds from growing up into your beautifully designed landscaping.
  • Acts as a separation barrier for the landscape rock and soil, so the stone doesn’t get pushed down into the soil.
  • Reduces the need for herbicides as weed control.
  • Best for use with landscape rock (inorganic mulch).
  • Allows water absorption into the soil, which helps to keep moisture in the ground for plants.
  • It is reusable. If you decide to change an area that is covered with fabric and mulch, simply remove the mulch, unpin the fabric, shake off the soil and other material, and roll up the fabric to keep it for future use. While it may be a little dirty, reused fabric works just as well as new material

Installation Tips:

  • Do not use in garden beds where plant movement is frequent.
  • Fabric must be covered with mulch or it will deteriorate with UV exposure. 2”-3” coverage is recommended.
  • Helpful to apply a preemergent to the soil prior to laying the cloth. This aids to inhibit weed growth down through the fabric.
  • Landscape fabric does require some maintenance.

Applications Where it is Not Necessary:

  • Not as necessary for arid/desert climates as it is for wetter regions.
  • Not as necessary when using organic mulch, as it inhibits nutrient transfer into the soil.