Weed fabric as a useful garden tool
The weed fabric can be a useful tool in the garden especially if you want a fuss-free area. Weeds can grow anywhere and they tend to invade a lot of garden space. Most often, weeds grow faster than the plants intended to occupy the space. Unfortunately for the gardener, weed growth tend to stunt the growth of the plants. When these invaders are allowed to grow all over the garden, there will come a time when all you will ever find in your garden are weeds. Gardeners who do not want to spend most of their hours going after unruly weeds make use of a landscape fabric to minimize their growth.
There are things you have to do once you decide to put a weed block in your garden to ensure soil that the soil will still get the nutrients it requires for plant growth. Covering the soil with the weed fabric will not only keep the weeds away but it will also keep organic matter away. This means less nutrition for the soil and the plants as well. To ensure optimized plant growth, apply a reasonable amount of compost whenever you can. Don’t worry about putting too much compost since they are organic anyway. A good amount of composed manure will also help in providing the much-needed nutrition to the soil.
Make use of a rake to smoothen the garden soil before putting down the weed fabric. It is not enough to use just any type of landscape fabric if you want to keep the weeds off but keep your plants healthy at the same time. Avoid using a plastic sheet as it tends to keep moisture away from the soil. Your best is a high-quality garden mat to keep the weeds off and still maintain a healthy garden. A woven fabric will block weed growth but will still allow air and water to penetrate, and will give you plants the right conditions for growth.
The use of weed fabric is cost effective since it can be reused later on. However, its lifespan will depend on the thickness of the garden mat and the tightness of the fabric weave. When smoothening the soil, leave a three-inch space below the edges of the lawn or pathway. This will ensure that you will have enough room for the mulch that you will put on top of the landscape fabric. Leave an extra inch on the sides of the landscape fabric before you spread it out. Fold this upwards to cover the soil along the edge so theres is no room for weeds to grow. The extra fabric won’t show anyway since it will be covered by the mulch.
Use a full weed fabric to cover the soil and avoid overlapping the landscape fabric as much as possible. This will allow the soil to get full coverage without unsightly weeds in the middle of the bed. But if you are reusing garden mats or for any reason have could not get a full-sized one, make sure you provide at least a foot for the overlapping fabric to avoid gaps in the middle. Remember that weeds can grow anywhere and they can squeeze in even on slits. You can use pins or staples to keep the fabric down but you will need many of them to keep the landscape fabric pinned down on the ground so keep it in stock. The pins will come in handy when you start cutting the planting holes. Pin the fabric around the holes if you want it to adhere to the soil properly.
The manner of cutting the weed fabric will make or break your plants. Never succumb to the temptation of just cutting out x’s on the garden mat. While this leaves little soil exposed, which means lesser area for weed membrane to grow, it will also mean lesser breathing space for your plants. A lot of gardeners who used x’s instead of plant holes ended up with dead plants. These plants can prove deadly for your plants not only because it bars proper contact between roots and soil, but it can also make the stems rot.
Perennial plants thrive best when they do not have to compete with weeds. However, these plants also want to spread their roots and they will be able to do that freely when they are placed in the middle of plant holes instead of mere flaps. Using a weed fabric can rid your garden of weeds but if you do not cut the holes properly then you will end up choking your plants and discouraging their proper growth. There are cases when you have to check if you need to cut more fabric from the based to allow the plants to breathe.
If you find the weed fabric a useful garden tool, then you may also find other tools important in keeping your garden productive and healthy. Invest in a good-quality pruning knife as it is also an indispensable tool for cutting out the fabric later on. You can maximize the uses and benefits of the landscaping fabric if you have the other tools as well. Bear in mind that while garden mats keep the weeds out of your garden, it will not keep your garden weed-free for long if you do not put the fabric properly. The quality of the fabric as well as the manner of putting it up will determine their quality as weed barriers.
A weed fabric is not only useful in large gardens. It is also an important tool in keeping away weeds beneath concrete pavers and driveways. If you have ponds or water gardens then you can make use of garden mats as a protective layer. Landscape fabric will not only keep the weeds away from the soil but it will also provide c a cleaner environment for high-quality ponds. But before you use the fabric for just about any purpose, make sure to buy the fabric recommended by the manufacturer for the specific purpose you have in mind to avoid failure in your project.