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landscape fabric weed seeds

In the process of trying to eliminate weeds, people often make mistakes that lead to more weeds. Here are the most common:

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You can also use landscape fabrics to control weeds under decks and in pathways (spread over the excavated soil base before you add gravel or sand). A 3×50-ft. roll of landscape fabric, such as the Typar shown below, costs about $10. The fabric is also available in 36-in. die-cut circles (about $3 each) for installing at the base of trees.

Deprive Weeds of Water

A single redroot pigweed is able to produce up to 30,000 seeds in a season. And those seeds can remain alive in the soil for 70 years waiting to sprout and overrun your perennial border at any time.

The frequency and timing of your fertilizing efforts are also crucial to healthy lawns. Both vary depending on your lawn type and the length of your growing season. Most northern lawns need only one or two applications of fertilizer annually—once in fall and sometimes a second time in spring. Southern grasses might require three feedings—early to mid-spring just after the grass greens up, early summer and again in early fall.

Check the label to determine if it is safe for use around the kinds of landscape plants you have and effective against the weeds normally present.

Think it’s an overstatement to call it the war against weeds? Here’s what you’re up against.

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Add mulch as necessary. You’ll probably need to with organic mulches that degrade and thin out over time; gravel and rock mulch remain pretty much the same as when first applied.

Whether you’re new to gardening or have been at it so long your thumb is a deep shade of green, you may have seen rolls of landscape fabric at DIY stores and gardening centers—and become intrigued. Take our crash course in this material designed to inhibit weeds and keep soil from drying out. We’ll clue you in on the pros versus cons, explain how to pick the best product, and share tips on using it most effectively.

Landscape fabric is constructed from woven fibers or manufactured as a solid sheet with perforated holes to allow water to soak through. Some brands offer UV protection to maintain the life of the fabric. It comes in rolls (view example on Amazon), typically at least 3 feet wide and anywhere from 50 feet to 200 feet, or more, in length. Cost varies from around $.45 per sq. ft., up to $.80 per sq. ft., depending on the brand and thickness. Thicker fabric typically runs a bit more.

Considerate Care

Landscape fabric isn’t the only solution to weed-blocking needs, and some gardeners aren’t keen on laying out the fabric, measuring it, cutting it, and then positioning it and pinning it in place. Some prefer a simple solution, while others are looking for the most environmentally friendly option they can find.

Note that virtually all landscape fabric can be covered with mulch of any type—wood chips, gravel, recycled rubber nuggets, etc.

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If you’ve decided to try landscape fabric, the following practices will help ensure the health of your plants and the longevity of your landscape design.

The purpose of landscape fabric is to control weeds, and it’s bound to do its job effectively for the first year or two—but be prepared to pull weeds that may sprout on top of the fabric later.
You may wish to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to the top of the mulch, such as Preen (view on Amazon), at the start of every new growing season to help reduce blown-in seeds from sprouting. A pre-emergent herbicide won’t harm established plants.