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Installing Landscaping Fabric for Weed Control

Let’s face it, some gardening tasks are either too backbreaking or tedious to do on the daily. Take daily weeding, for example. Daily weeding can be tiring real fast especially if you are weeding a large expanse of space. For gardeners with mobility problems, daily weeding is quite painful, if not, impossible to do every day! Installing landscape fabric can be beneficial to any type of garden, especially for gardens that are teeming with weeds.

Landscaping fabric may be essential for some gardeners and not so much for others but we can all agree that the product makes weeding much less of a hassle. Thankfully, installing landscape fabric is easy, here is a step by step guide how:

Step 1

You want to lay your landscaping fabric on a cleared spot so with a rake, clear the spot where you will be installing the landscape fabric of garden debris and weeds. You should also dig up old plants so the landscaping fabric lays evenly on the ground.

Step 2

After clearing the spot where you will install the landscaping fabric, you have to till the soil using a garden tiller or a fork. This helps to aerate the soil while removing existing plants or unwanted debris in the landscaped area. Amending the soil is also recommended at this point. Adding fertilizer ensures that the soil has all the nutrients that the plants need to thrive, especially in landscaped areas of the garden.

Step 3

Objects that stick out could cause damage to the landscaping fabric over time. Using a metal rake, smooth the soil so the ground is level and free from unwanted debris such as twigs, leftover plant roots, rocks, etc. Rake the ground repeatedly until you have a clear spot to lay the landscaping fabric.

Step 4

With a clear area to work on, you can start laying the landscaping fabric. Unroll the landscape fabric starting at the edge of the garden bed, placing the fabric on the ground lengthwise. Then, cut the landscaping fabric to length, adding a little extra to the trim so there is room for installing the staples later on.

Step 5

Set the landscaping fabric in place by pressing a landscape staple through the fabric and into the ground every 2 feet. Set the outside edges of the landscaping fabric using the staples too. After setting the landscape fabric in place, finish up by adding a layer of mulch, about 2 inches. You want to apply an even layer of the mulch and never pile the mulch against the stems of the plants.

The mulch may thin out over time so continue adding more to maintain a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil. Weeds may pop out every now and then but they are much easier to remove at this point. If you are seeing weeds growing, remove them immediately so the roots won’t have the chance to expand their roots. Do not add a deeper layer of mulch or more weeds will start growing! Decorative gravel, crushed stones, layers of bark, etc. could also work to conceal the landscaping fabric, apart from mulch.

Additional Landscaping Tips

If the area has several shrubs or plants, just make small slits in the landscape fabric. The slits should be large enough to fit around each plant. Slide the plant into the slits and adjust the position of the landscape fabric around the base of the plant. Smooth out the fabric if you are seeing lumps.

If say, you’d like to add new plants to the landscaped area, you can. Simply make an X-shaped slit on the spot where you’d like to add the plant then dig a small hole that’s big enough to fit the plant using a trowel. Start planting under the X mark, add compost when needed, cover the roots with soil and then adjust the position of the landscape fabric around the roots of the new plants.

If the landscaping fabric will be installed on a pathway or under decking, you have to remove all plant life from the area. This will ensure a flat, even surface for landscaping. You can clear the area manually, which is what we recommend or treat the area with weed killer. If you are using a weed-killer, you want to give the product enough time to take full effect. You can still rake and clear the area while waiting for the weed killer to take effect. Just remove the sticks, sharp stones, pebbles, and other debris that could otherwise puncture holes into the landscape fabric.

If say, the area that needs to be landscaped have existing plants and you want to use weed-killers to eliminate the weeds prior to installation, carefully spray the weed killer on the weeds. Do not get any of the chemicals on the plants. Remove any weeds that are growing too close to the plants before spraying the weed killer.

Installing landscaping fabric does take time but as long as the outdoor space has been prepped beforehand, the entire process is surprisingly straightforward. In fact, a full weekend is enough to install landscaping fabric to the yard.
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