Use Of Weed Fabric In Flowerbed

Filed Under: Groundcover Plants, Flower Gardens · Keywords: Weed Fabric, Barrier, Flower Bed, Plant, Groundcover, Ground Cover, Ground Cover Plants, · 1444 Views
Is it beneficial to use a weed fabric in the areas of my flower bed that I am going to plant ground cover (Ice plant)? I know ground cover plants spread as they grow....wouldn't weed fabric keep these plants from spreading?

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Answer #2 ·'s Answer · I agree with John and only use the weed fabric myself in areas where I don't intend to grow plants, such as walkways that will be covered with stone or gravel material. I've found that wood or straw mulches laid on top of the fabric will decompose into rich organic matter that weed seeds will sprout in. Then all of this organic matter has to be removed every so often, and that's no easy chore for sure. So, yes , there are some practical applications for weed barrier fabric but maybe not around many types of plants, especially groundcovers, or where wood mulches will be used. It might be okay to use in landscape beds where plants will be widely spaced. Even then, I'd probably cut a fairly large hole in the fabric around each plant.


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Tim-Personally I do not like using weed barriers in my gardens. The only place I use it is in areas that are covered with rock or gravel such as walking paths or other areas that are not planted. Any fabric that is dense enough to stop weed from growing usually don't allow enough penetration of water and nutrients to your planted shrubs, trees, and groundcover. Even though they may be porous I have seen dust and debri build up on these fabrics allowing even less air and water penetration. When fertilizing much may not enter the soil and may just run off never getting to the individual plants. The worst in my opinion is the plastic weed sheeting. It not only stops water penetration and air circulation, but can create a very hot environment that can dry out soil, harm plant roots, and kill good microorganisms that break down organic material needed for healthy plant growth. The ice plant grows fast and puts down roots as it spreads. Rooting and fast spreading can be detered by these root barrier fabrics. Once established the ice plant will act as good a weed barrier as any of these cloths. Not only adding our own fertilizers, but decaying debri is a good organic nutrient that will not be placed back into the soil if a barrier exists.

Make sure the area to be planted is weed free. A good herbicide recommended by a quality nursery or garden center a few weeks prior to planting should work well. Be sure to read the label for time of applying and planting. Untill the ice plant has covered there are pre emergent weed killers that can be used specifically for this plant that will help to kill weeds that may come up within your ground cover.

Years ago I used these fabrics in areas around gardens at rental homes hoping to save time in weeding. After a few years they actually didn't help and became more of a mess comming up and looking really messy along with being a real pain in the neck when wanting to plant other plants down the road. Any mulching you may want to do in your landscape or gardens should not be done over these barriers as the mulches will not work their way into the soil adding nutrients in time.

Below is a link to an article on How To Control Weeds In Groundcover you may be interested in. Just click on the link to go directly to the article.


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