Does Landscape Fabric Let Water Through? (Find Out!)
Landscape fabric will help you do away with weeds in your garden. The black mesh plastic spread before putting mulch also prevents the soil in this area from drying. It’s advantageous as it doesn’t involve the use of chemicals to do away with weeds. But does landscape fabric let water through?
Some of the landscape fabrics have holes that let water and nutrients through. However, not much water will go through it as most of it will remain on top of the fabric and drain away, leaving your plants a dry surface. The absorbed water will help control the temperature of the soil and airflow, boosting the plant’s roots’ growth.
If you’re planning to install a landscape fabric in your garden, this guide will help you know more about it.
Do You Put Soil on Top of Landscape Fabric?
No, Soil should be underneath the fabric to reduce your chances of disturbing it, increasing the circumstances of the weed seeds germinating. If you let soil on top of the landscape fabric, it will frustrate your efforts to do away with the weeds in your garden.
Instead, you should put mulch on top of the landscape fabric. You can also use rock, gravel, rubber, wood chips, or barks on top of the landscape fabric. It will help make your landscaping look neater, unlike soil which will dirty it. Additionally, it will protect the fabric from destructive sunlight rays and also help the soil below it retain enough moisture for the plant’s sustenance.
Note that: The fabric will quell the weeds for some years, but some will grow when new weed seeds blow over it.
Should I Use Landscape Fabric Under Gravel?
Yes, You should have the landscape fabric go under the gravel to help manage the weed growth. The fabric will prevent the weeds and other plants from growing, meeting your expectations of buying it.
As most people believe, the gravel won’t prevent weeds from sprouting. Instead, it will also improve the stability of the gravel as the landscape fabric ensures they remain level. Plus, it will stop the gravel from sinking into the soil when it’s wet.
Additionally, it will also protect it from having holes and dents, which makes your garden have dips and hills on either side while the middle remains a bigger mess.
How To Install A Landscape Fabric?
Installing a landscape fabric is easy and requires less than a day to have it up. You can have your friends help you with the project and have it over within hours.
You can do that by;
- Garden hoe
- Utility knife
- Bow rake
- Tape measure
- Landscape staples
Measure Your Working Area
The first thing you need to do is measure the garden area where you intend to install the landscape fabric. Doing this will let you know how much fabric and staples you’ll need.
Clear The Area
Then clear the weeds in the area you’ve identified. Use a garden hoe to dig out all the parts of the weeds plus their roots. You can also spray herbicides to kill the weeds making your work easier. But if you choose to use the chemicals, you have to wait some days before installing the fabric.
Level The Ground
You should then level the ground where you intend to fix the landscaping fabric. Before doing this, you can add manure or fertilizers since you won’t get a chance to do that after covering the soil.
Then use a bow rake to pull out the rocks, twigs, and uprooted weeds from the area. Do this until the ground is level and the soil smoother to reduce the chances of damaging the landscape fabric.
Roll The Fabric Over the Soil
You should then lay the landscape fabric on the area you measured above. Ensure it covers the area well, then cut out the excess fabric with a utility knife, leaving some allowance for errors.
Let them overlap to avoid leaving space for weed to poke through if you want to have two layers of the fabric sheet. Let them overlap by 6 or 12 inches.
Also, ensure you lay the right side of the fabric facing the soil. You can check on the user manual to help you know which side faces up and the one facing down.
Secure The Landscape Fabric into Place
The next important process is to hold the fabric into place. Use the landscape staples to secure it on the ground. Use a hammer to drive the staples deep into the soil and space them every 10-12 feet.
You can also trim the edges but don’t skimp on the fabric to bridge the chances of weed getting through and have it serve you for long.
Add Your Plant to The Setup
Then introduce your plants to the growing area. With a utility knife, cut an X-shaped incision on the fabric where you’ll place each plant. Let it be bigger to allow you to dig a hole for the root balls.
Pull the flaps to the sides, dig a hole, and put the plant there. After that, return the soil to the hole and ensure it covers the roots well to avoid air pockets.
Finally, pull the flaps back around the plant’s base and don’t leave room for the weeds to pass through.
Cover On Top of The Fabric with Mulch
Add mulch on top of the landscape fabric. The mulch should be about 2 to 3 inches thick for better results. The layer will help make your landscaping look neater, help retain moisture in the soil and protect the fabric from harmful sunlight rays. You can use organic or inorganic mulch that meets your expectations.
Do Regular Maintenance
After installing the fabric, you shouldn’t leave it unattended. Instead, do regular maintenance to get rid of weed seeds that can sprout over the mulch or blown-in soil. You can consider using pre-emergent weed control products on the mulch at the beginning of the growing season.
Organic mulch also needs to be replaced to avoid creating a breeding ground for the weeds. However, if you use inorganic mulch, you need to spray water over them and remove any dirt.
What Are the Alternatives of Landscape Fabric?
If you don’t want to use landscape fabric under the mulch, you can consider the following materials;
- Plastic sheets
- Burlap fabric
Landscape fabric is beneficial to the garden as it suppresses the weed seeds enabling your plants to grow healthily. To get better results when using the fabric, avoid placing soil on top of it and have gravel well placed beneath. Also, know how to install the landscape fabric to avoid leaving space for the weeds to sprout.
Read More About Garden: How Much Topsoil Need Over Gravel to Grow Grass? (Calculator)