Landscape Fabrics - two different kinds - Ineffective!

Discussion in 'Lawn Care' started by Weedscaper, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    We had several large areas of exposed dirt in the yard, and the weeds were a constant problem. I researched putting down decorative stones, but decided on mulch. I guess mulch was there in years past, but I don't know for sure.

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    Don't ask me why, but I could only find night shots of these parts of the yard.

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    A few months back, over several weeks time, I began pulling up the border stones, and then putting down landscape fabric, and then putting the stones back with the ends of the fabric under the stones to anchor the fabric, and then mulch on the fabric. I just happened to buy two different kinds of fabric because I made several trips to Home Depot. I kept underestimating how much material I would need. One fabric was like cloth, the other more like plastic.

    The project didn't kill me, but I did make my neck and shoulders and hands sore from pulling up the stones. But, it was worth it to solve the weed problem, right?

    NOT!

    The two different styles of landscape fabric BOTH allow weeds to grow up through them! I'm really disappointed. I talked with the guy who works at the garden center near me. He says when he works with this stuff, he puts down two layers with the grain going different directions.

    I guess I'm just posting this to warn others and to rant. Here is a weed growing up through the more cloth-like fabric:

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    Here is a weed growing up through the "fabric" which is more like plastic:

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    I intend to get the exact name of the product and set up a howl on the HD website, and maybe contact the company. I'm not looking forward to sweeping up 35 bags worth of damn mulch, rolling over 80 or 90 heavy border rocks, putting a new layer of this crap down, rolling the stupid rocks back to pin down the fabric, and then shoveling back 35 bags worth of mulch on top of the 2 layers of fabric. But, that's exactly what I'm going to end up doing. Does anyone want to help me???? I offer all the ginger ale you can drink.

    Sanafrasan rickan rackin!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  2. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I stopped buying and using landscape fabric many years ago because the weeds took it as a challenge to see how many could grow through those tiny holes. When I have an area where weed control is important I put down heavy duty contractors black plastic then cover it with mulch. Of course over time the mulch will compost and seeds falling from the Hackberry trees will try to take root but those can be kicked loose, no bending and pulling needed.
    When our grandson worked on a section of the 'hell strip' where the trash and recycle barrels are put out for collection day, I bought some large cheap plastic tarps for him to put down, with the patio pavers and rocks he used between them arranged beautifully on top, you can not see the plastic and thanks to the Lime hubby spread out under the tarps, no weeds in the last 2 years.

    Don't howl at HD, unless they produce it they have no control over it's quality or lack thereof. Contact the company that makes it and complain....but don't expect much response, they sell too much to actually care. :(
     
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  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I have better luck using newspaper or cardboard under the mulch, and it's FREE.
     
  4. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    The fabric and plastic need to be used after the weeds are controlled. it will not keep the weeds from growing. it is a barrier to suppress the weeds, but once they start growing through the fabric you are fighting a losing battle. as much as I hate weed killer sometimes I still mix it up and spot treat the weeds. one you have shown is nut sedge. a terrible one to control. I have mugwort, mile a minute weed and bindweed... uncontrollable by pulling.
     



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  5. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    If your weeds are popping up singly, try filling a spray bottle with vinegar and giving a shoot of vinegar to the weed. It is organic and it works. I keep a bottle with a jet spray, not mist, in the barn for the weeds.
    If I don't get out there soon with the cultivator, I'll have to hire an airplane to fly over and spray the whole area with vinegar!
     
  6. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    Thanks for all the ideas. I will do some reading on using newspaper to stop weeds. It occurred to me just today that by anchoring down the fabric I may have stretched it, and increased the size of the holes!
     
  7. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Cardboard! Cardboard! Cardboard!

    That's my shout out:like: you can find it free with very little effort.

    I have been using it for several years now. Use it thickly and then a light covering of mulch/bark to make it look neat. If put on multi layers with no gaps and it is effective suffocating the weeds. It breaks down and turns to mulch itself adding to the soil. I just redid my paths recently within my woodland garden.

    The parts of the woodland area with plants have had few weeds since the original creation with cardboard covering grass/weeds. Only bird brought in seeds and easily managed even after three or more years. If you don't stir up the soil you don't uncover weed seeds and have fewer problems.:stew1:

    I once had a paying job removing old landscape fabric. It was an eye opener and I swore to never use it so I admit to being prejudice against it.
     
  8. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    What the hay. Will try :fingerscrossed:
     
  9. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I used cardboard on the south part of our front yard, covered it with about 3 inches of mulch and in about 3 years the cardboard had composted and turned that part of the yard into a really great place for plants. I had put things in pots at first but now I have plants in the ground and the only 'weeds' are the Lemon Balm that is taking over the area.
     
  10. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    I've done some extra reading, and I will be trying some cardboard. I'm very glad I posted this thread.

    BTW toni, earlier you wrote

    I think what I really need to do is to read the label of these two products. If it does not perform as it says it will, HD should at least consider not carrying it.
     
  11. Weedscaper

    Weedscaper New Seed

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    Just for the record, I was only able to locate the receipt for one of the products I used from HD.

    As you can see, the label of the Vigoro (plastic like) product I used has the phrase "Weedblock Diamond" on it.

    However, the description on HD website does not employ the term "weedblock," but instead uses the more permissible word "barrier."

    Vigoro - "Polyethylene Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric."

    Astoundingly, out of 91 reviews, the product retains a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I scanned the reviews, an I did see a few four and five star reviews which said something like, "I just installed this product one week ago, and so far, I love it!" Otherwise, there are plenty of users who are very disappointed in this product, with pictures. I will be adding my review with a picture.





     
  12. 2ofus

    2ofus Young Pine

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    I have tried it and had the same thing happen. It wasn't easy to install OR remove. Now I just plant my flowers close together so they shade out a lot of the weeds and try to stay ahead of any that sprout so they don't reseed.
     
  13. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I use it as ground cover in between the rows in the garden and then remove it when we are done for the season ( or I try to... last years is still in the garden. I need to finish getting it folded up and put away for a few months.) as a landscape material... nope, noway, no thanks. it is a pain in the butt to remove...
     

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