Do Weed Barriers Work?

Are you fed up with weeds? Many people are and want to know what to do about this issue. A top-notch solution to this problem is to use a physical barrier that would prevent weeds from sprouting and doing harm to what you’re growing in your garden.

How does a physical weed barrier work?

A physical barrier such as landscape fabric that is sold at gardening centers and DIY stores might be an option for you. The fabric comes in the form of a solid sheet that has tiny holes that water can go through. The rolls usually are 3 feet wide by 50 to 200 feet.

You would use landscape pins to keep the barrier in place. Not all fabric is meant to be covered by mulch such as recycled rubber or wood chips.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the benefits of using a physical weed barrier:

*Offers some measure of erosion control when used on a spot that is on a slope and has washout due to heavy rain

*Less of a need to use herbicides for weed control

*Reduces evaporation which keeps the soil moist

*Prevents the sprouting of weed seeds that are beneath the soil

There are also some cons involved with using such a barrier:

*Discourages earthworms from going to the surface of the soil and makes it so the soil gets more compact and unhealthy

*Weed seeds still are able to sprout in the mulch that is used on the landscape fabric since new seeds may blow on top, then they would stick to the fabric depending on the size of the holes

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*The natural mulch, such as leaves and pine needles, aren’t able to get to the soil and blend with it to provide beneficial nutrients

All in all, a physical weed barrier such as landscape fabric might be more trouble than it’s worth. You have to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks carefully to determine if it would be the best decision to meet your needs. There are no easy fixes, so either way you’ll need to keep watch and deal with any weeds that do grow as quickly as possible.

If you do decide to use the fabric, make sure to follow some key guidelines and helpful tips.

Use adequate mulch – It’s a good idea to have 2 to 3 inches of mulch on top to protect from UV rays and help the pins stay.

Level your soil – It wouldn’t make sense to have your fabric and mulch on top of uneven soil, so break up hard clods and raking the area as smooth as possible.

Check mulch levels – Put down mulch as often as necessary. If you’re using organic mulch it can thin out and degrade, so if you want to avoid having to add more then you can opt for gravel or rock mulch.

Soil testing and amendments – If you’re unsure of the composition of your soil, bring it to a county office that conducts testing. Then, add in your peat moss, composted manure, or any other type of additive you’ll need to keep your soil healthy. Do this before you put the weed barrier down.

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Working on your garden has many health and overall benefits. Be prepared for weeds and other issues that you may encounter by considering a weed barrier. Landscape fabric or another kind of physical barrier could save you from headaches and extra work.

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